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Winners of SC State Library's 'Young Minds Dreaming' Poetry Contest Announced

March 23, 2017 - Posted in Education by Bette Jamison
Graphic from 2017 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Featuring Jacqueline Woodson

Over 600 South Carolina students sent in original work for the SC State Library's "Young Minds Dreaming" Poetry Contest, but only nine made the cut to win.

The nine winners to meet author Jacqueline Woodson, recite their works in closed ceremony.

The poetry contest was organized as part of this year's May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture events. South Carolina students in grades 3-12 were invited to submit poems relating stories of a person, place, or an experience that made a mark on student's lives to a panel of nine judges.

"The State Library was thrilled at the response to the poetry contest," said Deputy Director Denise Lyons, who oversees the Arbuthnot Lecture planning. "It became clear that there is both interest and enthusiasm by many at all levels to celebrate poetry in a significant way across the state. We are grateful for all the support, participation, and assistance we have received during this contest. Our hope is that we will be able to continue the Young Minds Dreaming contest in some way even after the Arbuthnot events have ended."

This year's winners are:

Elementary (grades 3-5)


1st Place

Sonia Baxter: "The Beach"

3rd grade, Round Top Elementary School


2nd Place

Catie Coats: "My Grandma's Death"

5th grade, Oak Pointe Elementary School


3rd Place

Michaela Grindstaff: "Up Main Street"

5th grade, Oak Pointe Elementary School


Middle (grades 6-8)


1st Place

Nada Rahal: "Beauty"

6th grade, Alice Drive Middle School


2nd Place

Charlotte Hughes: "The Cherry Blossom City"

8th grade, Heathwood Hall


3rd Place

Michaela Lanier: "Destructional Peace" 

7th grade, Blythewood Middle School


High (grades 9-12)


1st Place

Skye Robertson: "Dreams" 

12th grade, Fort Mill High School


2nd Place

Gillian Moses: "Flight"

9th grade, Clover High School


3rd Place

April Williams: "Dreaming of Innocence"

11th grade, Fort Mill High School


The winners and their families are invited to attend a closed ceremony at the SC State Library on April 1 to read their poems and to meet author Jacqueline Woodson. 

For more information on the poetry contest, please contact Pamela Hoppock, MLIS Learning Experiences Coordinator, at (803) 734-8646 or To learn more about the Arbuthnot Lecture, visit the event's website.


For further information contact:                                                         

Sean Gruber, Public Information Specialist 



About the South Carolina State Library

The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state's libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources.  For more information, please visit or call 803-734-8666.      


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