Petula Dvorak, a columnist for the Metro news section of The Washington Post, has won a first-place medal in the 2013 Casey award competition for “Transgender at Five,” which recounted a couple’s decision to allow their daughter to enroll in kindergarten as a boy.

The judges said it was a moving and intimate story of parental love and acceptance that caused a sensation in print and online. Among responses were some from people who have struggled with gender identity and parents who suspected that their child might be transgender.

The awards, bestowed by the Journalism Center on Children and Families, a nonprofit program of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, honor the past year’s best reporting on children, youth and families in the United States.

In lauding Dvorak’s work, the judges also cited The Post and her editor, Lynda Robinson.

— From staff reports