• San Marino Boasts A 13-Year -Old Award-Winning Author

    by Winston Chua

    The Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation on March 19 recognized San Marino’s Allyson Wei, 13, for her state-winning story in the Imagine This… story writing contest.

    Allyson, her family and her science teacher, Clarence Atwater, flew out to Sacramento and the young writer was honored with a gold medal during a ceremony at the California State Capitol in the Governor’s Council Room.

    Just six students – one per grade from grades 3 through 8 – out of more than 8,000 entrants received honors for their creativity, writing skills and positive interpretation of California’s agriculture industry.

    “The best part about the experience was signing all the books,” recalled Allyson, whose essay is included among other award-winners’ works in a book given to state legislators. “People will be reading the books and after they’re done they can see my signature.”

    The seventh grader at San Gabriel Christian School wrote a story entitled Strawberry Troublemakers. The wordsmith loves strawberries and wrote an intelligent piece about a commercial strawberry farm and a family’s need to find a solution to a bug problem. In the story the family sprays Pyrethrum, an organic pesticide derived from Chrysanthemums, onto the affected plants to get rid of the critters without endangering the health of humans.

    The family in her story is able to eradicate the bugs, saving the employment of workers and those delicious strawberries without suffering too many casualties.

    “She did a lot of research on the Internet for this story and loves to eat strawberries,” said Shirley Wei, Allyson’s mother. “She’s also a really creative person and this contest appealed to her. The trip to Sacramento exposed her to politics and opened her eyes to a different world.”

    Allyson, Shirley and her father Ted spent time with Assemblyman Ed Chau and listened to a presentation by Gov. Jerry Brown. The young author, who loves to write about fantasy (including the Medieval period, castles and dragons) also autographed many bookmarks during the day as well.

    The contest split California into four regions, with two winners being selected per, region per grade. Out of those eight regional winners per grade, one per grade was selected on New Year’s Day.

    Allyson said that screenwriting would interest her as a career in the future. To read her story, please visithttp://www.cfaitc.org/imaginethis/2013/seventh.php

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