TORONTO - City high school seventh-grader Nolan Clegg said he was delighted to have won the Child of Appalachia Writing Contest for his essay on inventing a virtual computer controller for school desktops.
The essay, sponsored by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, was open to pupils in grades fourth through eighth, according to high school Principal Maureen Taggart.
"This is the foundation's sixth-annual contest," said Taggart, adding the topic for this year's contest was "If You Could Invent Something for Your Community, What Would it Be and What Problem Would it Solve?"
WINNER — Nolan Clegg, a seventh-grader at Toronto High School, recently wrote a winning essay in the Child of Appalachia Writing Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
-- Mark J. Miller
Taggart said the contest was open to pupils residing in the 32 Appalachian counties of Ohio, and "Jefferson County happens to be one of them. Nolan is the seventh-grade winner for Jefferson County. The contest also was sponsored by the Duke Energy Foundation."
"Our class for the seventh grade won an iPad," said Clegg, adding Lynda Glenn is his high school English teacher. "I won a $25 gas card and two tickets to a museum."
Clegg said his idea was to have a holographic, three-dimensional controller for each desk in the classroom. He said he believed "It would get more pupils involved in class. Everyone has an iPhone, and this is just a bigger version of an iPhone."
The idea is to cut down on paper and ink, and pupils and students can send their work straight to the teacher instead of having to hand them in.
Clegg said the award came as a bit of a shock.
"Yes, I was very surprised," he said. "(Lynda Glenn) told me I won. and I almost had forgotten about it."
Writing runs in his family, he added.
"I enjoy writing," he said. "It's fun. My grandmother Kathy Clegg had an English scholarship in college. She helps me with my writing."
"Through the Child of Appalachia Writing Contest, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is working to close the aspirational gaps that often correlate with economic distress and poverty," according to a release from the foundation. "Our strategy is simple - to support aspiration-building conversations in classrooms across the region by providing a positive conversation prompt, the goal of which is to instill the mindsets and confidence necessary for success in our region's students."
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)