Photo: Haley's grandmother Dianna Zani, Haley Jean, and Haley's mother Lisa Jean stand in front of the display where Haley's letter to Patricia MacLachlan is posted.
It was a great day at the State House on May 3, 2011 as students, teachers, librarians, parents, relatives, and supporters joined legislators in celebrating the Honors and Top Honors award winners in Letters About Literature 2011. Receiving Honors, New Salem sixth grader Haley Jean entered her letter through the Wheeler Memorial Library’s Writing Wizards of Wheeler writing club. Haley’s letter was judged to be in the top 1% of the 4,300 letters submitted to the Massachusetts’ committee. Haley wrote to author Patricia MacLachlan about reading Edward's Eyes. Haley’s recognition is made even more special since this year Massachusetts is the state with the second highest number of entrants. Representative Kate Hogan gave the legislative welcome, author M.T. Anderson was the featured speaker, and Guy Lamolinara came from the Library of Congress. A Massachusetts student even earned one of the three National Awards for Top Honors writers. The competition was tough and upon listening to the wonderful letters of the other honored Massachusetts’ students, Candy Cross, Children’s Librarian at the Wheeler Memorial Library, is very proud of Haley’s representation of the Writing Wizards of Wheeler.