On Friday, April 22, 2022 at the 502 East Event Centre in Carmel, Indiana, the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) announced the winners of their 2021 Best in Indiana Journalism Contest.
I won second place for Best Education Reporting for publications with circulation below 30,000.
It was one of two awards I won that evening, the other being third place for Best Personality Profile.
For the Education Reporting category, I submitted five stories combined as one entry.
Two of them were about the local Literacy for Companionship program, which pairs emerging readers with dogs and cats in need of a home.
The third story in this entry was about Sharp Creek Elementary School teacher Amber Bretzman teaching 9/11 to her fifth-graders 20 years later.
For this entry, I also included the acrostic poems her students wrote as a part of the assignment.
I also included the Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 12, 2001 front pages of the Plain Dealer, which were published with the help of Wabash Carnegie Public Library executive director Ware Wimberly who dug them out of the archives.
The fourth story in this entry was about Sharp Creek Elementary School K-Club members showing appreciation to local veterans on Veterans Day.
And the fifth story in this entry was about the results of the second year of Operation Reach Out.