November 26, 2018
The impact of the recently-concluded 2018 Youth Literary Derby continues to be felt, as some of the finalists are doing their part to have their schools benefit from the experience.
Trot Insider has learned that Tennille Kirkpatrick – the mother of Avery Kirkpatrick, 11, who was the runner-up in the ‘Derby’s essay category – has parlayed Avery’s success into a win for her school, the St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Bowmanville, Ont.
Avery had been searching for the best way to have her school benefit from the cash prize she won in the Derby. The youngster determined that she wanted to invite an author to come to the school and discuss writing.
The Kirkpatricks have been able to secure Olympic eventer and Pan-Am medalist Jessica Phoenix for a December 10 event at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School. Phoenix will speak with more than 100 kids (from grades four through eight) about determination, perseverance and courage.
Phoenix’s sister, Julie Fitz-Gerald, has penned a book about Jessica’s triumphs and tribulations entitled ‘Rise’ (for more information on the book, click here). Fitz-Gerald will join Phoenix at the school on December 10 and will present and discuss the book.
Students will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of Rise and has it signed by both Jessica and Fitz-Gerald. A portion of the proceeds from the book sales will benefit the library at the school.
Tennille has explained that Avery is very excited to have one of her favourite riders come and speak with her peers, and that she is also thrilled to have Fitz-Gerald discuss the book.
Some of the other Derby finalists have donated their winnings to purchase books for the libraries at their schools.
The Youth Literary Derby is province-wide, juried, horse-themed writing contest designed to encourage writing and literacy skills of Ontario students grades five to eight. The Derby reached into the classrooms of schools, Standardbred breeding farms and the mainstream media, and attracted submissions from 46 towns, cities, villages and the Amish community.