Persell Middle School Students Win Local Essay Contest

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JAMESTOWN – Persell Middle School students, Olivia Beach and Abrielle Monaghan, were chosen as winners in The Robert H. Jackson Center’s Young Reader Program.

“I am so happy for both Olivia and Abrielle,” said Persell Middle School Principal Phil Cammarata.  “They are both voracious readers and I couldn’t have picked two more deserving students to win this award.”

The two wrote their essays based on the question: How is denying another human being’s basic human rights damaging to both the oppressed and the oppressor?

They were tasked with considering the differences between people or groups such as Harry Potter and Lucius Malfoy; Hermione Granger and Sirius Black; Dobby and Kreacher; and/or real life examples such as slaveholders and abolitionists.

“I liked reading the Harry Potter books and talking about the issues,” said Olivia. “J.K. Rowling does a great job creating a world that mimics the real world and it was interesting to talk about current issues and compare them with Harry Potter’s world.”

“I love to write and loved reading the Harry Potter series so it was a really cool opportunity to do the essay contest,” said Abrielle. “I liked the experience of answering the question and making sure the finished essay was great.”

The Robert H. Jackson Center’s Young Readers Program uses literature to engage young people with their worlds by inspiring them to read and hone their analytical skills and writing ability.

As part of the Young Readers Program, the Jackson Center also invited Dr. Allida Black to speak to students at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts about the relationship between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the works of groups such as Amnesty International and the Harry Potter series.

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