Students from Albany diocesan school earn first place
as student-published authors out of 57,565 entries nationwide
Local educator, Julie Reilly, and the first-grade class at All Saints Catholic Academy in Albany have been announced as the grand prize winners in the 2019/2020 National Book Challenge hosted by Studentreasures Publishing. For this honor, the class will receive a $5,000 grant for their school, winning certificates and copies of their hardbound book, entitled “All in This Together.” Each of the 20 first-grade authors were recognized for their contributions to the book, which was recently published through Studentreasures’ free publishing program.
Miss Reilly’s class came up with the idea for “All in This Together,” when they were inspired by COVID-19. The first-grade authors put forth their best effort, researching, writing about, and illustrating the ways their world has changed and how they are coping with COVID-19, before they sent their completed pages to be published. The underlying theme of their story is positivity and always looking for the good.
"We are extremely proud of the first-graders at All Saints Catholic Academy and their award-winning teacher, Miss Julie Reilly, for this enormous honor," said Giovani Virgiglio, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Albany. "The unexpected and sudden switch to distance learning didn't stop them from doing their very best and that is indeed what they did by being recognized as best in the nation!"
“I’m excited that our first-graders got to experience the process and joy of publishing a book,” said Miss Reilly. “They worked so hard on their writing all year. We brainstormed our ideas over Zoom, talked about words and feelings, learned about how books are made and prepared a number of drafts until we had a finished product to enter into the competition.”
“All in This Together” was selected from more than 57,000 entries across the country. The book was awarded first place based on its originality, creative storyline, and colorful illustrations.
“We especially congratulate Miss Reilly and her students for earning this unique achievement and completing a project that provides lasting memories and a one-of-a-kind keepsake,” said Chad Zimmerman, president and CEO of Studentreasures. “These students now have the honor of creating an extraordinary book that earned first place as part of the one-and-only National Book Challenge.”
“They truly are proud authors, and I know this positive memory will stay with them throughout their lifetime,” added Miss Reilly.
About All Saints Catholic Academy
All Saints Catholic Academy, an elementary school under the auspices of the Diocese of Albany, is a school rich in tradition and educational excellence. From 3-year old Pre-K through grade 8, All Saints Catholic Academy is committed to providing the highest quality Catholic education emphasizing faith formation and academic development within a safe and compassionate learning environment. For more information, go to www.ascaalbany.org.
About The National Book Challenge
The National Book Challenge is part of Studentreasures’ free publishing program. The contest provides an opportunity to win classroom grants, shine a spotlight on students, and create proud, published authors. For more details about the challenge and a complete list of winners, visit The National Book Challenge.