December 29, 2000

Eastin Announces Ninth Annual Spanish Literary Contest

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin has announced the ninth annual "Escribo en Español" writing contest for California students studying Spanish. Sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Education office of the Embassy of Spain, the contest is for students in grades three through 12 who are in Spanish/English Dual Immersion Programs or studying Spanish as a foreign language.

This year's essay topic is "Los mejores días de mi vida" or "The best days in my life." Teachers may submit up to five student literary works per class with original prose and poetry being accepted. All entries must be received by February 1, 2001 in the CDE's Migrant Education International Office at 721 Capitol Mall, 2nd floor; Sacramento, CA 95814.

Students' work will be grouped according to their age and native language. The seven best essays in each category will receive a prize, with monetary awards being given to winners of the top three ranks. All finalists, their teachers, and their schools will receive a certificate signed by Eastin and the Education Attache of the Consulate General of Spain. Winners will be announced by April 15 with two awards ceremonies—one in Northern California and one in Southern California—taking place in May.

A grand prize trip, "La Ruta Quetzal-Argentaria," which tours Spain and Mexico, will be awarded to the top essay in the 16- and 17-year-old category. It is a form of scholarship valued at $10,000. The King of Spain will meet the California student along with more than 100 other winners from around the world.

"Contests such as `Escribo en Español' allow students to challenge their Spanish writing skills in an exciting and inventive way. Engaging students in their studies through such activities increases success rates and an overall interest in learning. Good luck to all those who participate," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

For further information about "Escribo en Español," please contact Pascual Marteles-Lopez, Ministry of Education and Culture, CDE Migrant Education/International Office, at 916/657-5385.

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