Aki Raymer, a fourth-grade student at Stoddert Elementary School, is a winner in the Young Writers' Contest Foundation nationwide writing competition.
The Young Writers' Contest Foundation began two years ago to encourage literacy among elementary school students. This year it received 8,000 poems and short stories, and will publish the work of the 105 winners in an anthology, "The Rainbow Collection."
Aki, 9, who said she has enjoyed writing "ever since I could spell," was encouraged to enter the contest by Laurie Stroblas, her creative writing teacher at the Fillmore Arts Center of the D.C. Public Schools. "She is a delightful student, with an excellent sense of rhythm and rhyme," said Stroblas.
Raymer's poem "Animals" is her first published work. Hot Line President Named
Olivia Ware has been named president of the D.C. Hotline, a confidential phone counseling service. "My interest in the hot line comes from other volunteer experiences," Ware said. When she joined the group more than two years ago, she saw a "great need for people with some experience in fund raising."
A staff of about 100 volunteers answers about 12,000 calls a year for the 10-year-old hot line.
Volunteers "go through a very extensive training of about 40 hours. They see what work is involved, and if they can handle it. Then we train them in the skills they'll need," Ware said.
Last year, the operation started PhoneFriend, an after-school telephone line for children who return home before their parents. Ware said that PhoneFriend receives about 1,000 calls each month from children who need "all kinds of things. Maybe something bad happened at school, and they want someone to talk to. Sometimes they may be lonely, because no one is coming home for hours. And sometimes they call with critical problems," such as fires or suspicious characters.
As president, Ware said she hopes to improve the fund-raising efforts.