Barrington students shine in Letters About Literature contest

Barrington boasts Level 1 state winner


Hampden Meadows School student Kendal Bazerman was recently named a Level 1 winner for the state in the Letters About Literature contest.

Open to students in grades 4 through 12, Letters About Literature asks students to read a book, poem or speech and then write to its author (living or dead) to share how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged at the state level and the national level.

Hampden Meadows School also had a number of Level 1 semifinalists — fourth-graders Araminta "Minty" Gaitskell, Abigail Terantino and Dahlia Weller. 

Kendal read "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio, while Araminta read "The Honest Truth" by Dan Gemeinhart, Abigail read "Inside Out and Back Again" by Thanhha Lai, and Dahlia read "Out of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper.

At the middle school, seventh-grader Ben Grijalva was named a Level 2 honorable mention (second place in the state), while Sydney Duncan, Venus Tian and Michael Cox were all named semifinalists. 

There were a total of 426 letters from students in Rhode Island that went to the Library of Congress as part of the contest.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.