Chicago fifth grader earns poetry award

American Heritage Award Creative Writing Contest winner, Elin Seiler, 10, discusses her poem about hope in America.
2:54 | 06/29/22

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Transcript for Chicago fifth grader earns poetry award
>>> WE ARE BACK NOW WITH THE FIFTH GRADER WHO LOVES TO READ AND WRITE, WINNING A CONTEST AND A LOT OF ATTENTION FOR A POEM SHE WROTE INSPIRED FOR A SCHOOL ASSIGNMENT ON THE PROMISE OF AMERICA AS A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS. >> MY FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL IS PROBABLY ELA WRITING. I LOVE TO READ AND WRITE. I ALWAYS HAVE. IT'S SUPER FUN. I LOVE TELLING OTHER PEOPLE'S STORIES, AND I JUST LOVE POETRY. I JUST ENJOY THE ARTS, I GUESS. IN MY ELA CLASS, I WAS REALLY INTRODUCED TO THIS OTHER PART OF THE WORLD. OUR FIFTH GRADE TEACHER MRS. RYDER TOLD US ANYONE IN THE CLASS WOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT THIS POEM FOR THE CONTEST AND WHY I'M GLAD AMERICA IS A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BECOME A WELCOMING NATION. AFTER READING THESE BOOKS ABOUT PEOPLE'S IMMIGRATION STORIES, I WAS REALLY INSPIRED TO WRITE A POEM ABOUT FOUR GIRLS FROM FOUR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. THE FIRST ONE FROM IRELAND. THE SECOND ONE FROM AFGHANISTAN. AND FROM MY FAVORITE RED AND YELLOW HIJABS. THE THIRD FROM INDONESIA. I HAVE MUD ROOFS OVER MY HEAD. AND THE FOURTH ONE FROM UKRAINE. FROM MY RIPPED QUILT IN FADED BLUES AND YELLOWS. TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO PUT THEMSELVES IN THEIR SHOES, RELATE TO THEM, AND THEN HAVE MORE EMPATHY TOWARD OTHERS. >> I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE OUR INCREDIBLE 25th ANNIVERSARY CREATIVE CONTEST WINNER, ELAN SAILOR FROM CHICAGO. ELAN. >> WHEN MY MOM ACTUALLY GOT THE EMAIL, SHE LOOKED AT HER PHONE AND SHE GOES, OH, MY GOSH, OH, MY GOSH, OH, MY GOSH, OH, MY GOSH. I WAS SO EXCITED, AND MY LITTLE BROTHER, LIKE, STARTED SCREAMING. THE BIG GALA, IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE COMING TO HEAR MY POEM, WHICH, FIRST OF ALL, WAS REALLY EXCITING. MOST PEOPLE LOOK AT DIFFERENCES, BUT WE'RE SO, SO SIMILAR, AND WE CAN BUILD EACH OTHER UP AND EVEN THE DIFFERENCES CAN BUILD EACH OTHER UP. HOPE WILL BE ALIVE. I HOPE THERE WILL BE HOPE HERE. YOU'RE ALMOST NEVER RECOGNIZED FOR HAVING EMPATHY. THAT'S JUST SO AMAZING THAT I CAN SHARE THAT STORY AND THAT PEOPLE COULD BE INSPIRED BY THIS POEM BECAUSE I HAVE EMPATHY FOR OTHERS, AND I HOPE THAT IT'S A NICE RIPPLE EFFECT. [ APPLAUSE ] >> WOW. >> WHO IS THIS KID? >> ELAN IS ONLY 10 YEARS OLD. AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT SHE DOES IN LIFE BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE FANTASTIC. >> AND WE HAVE EXPECTA

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