Grand Prize winner; 4 other winners at national literacy contest

The Gallaudet National Literary Competition is held annually to challenge and inspire deaf and hard of hearing students 2nd through 12th grades to compete and showcase their ASL and writing skills. This year, three ISD students were first place winners in the categories of Middle School Creative Writing, High School Creative Writing, and High School ASL Literary Handshape. Two other students received honorable mention. Of the first place winners, 8th grader Hope Murapa also won the grand prize for writing! Hope can choose from either an all-expenses paid trip to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.; or transportation and camp fees paid to a Gallaudet Summer Camp, or a $1,000 scholarship and trip to Gallaudet University.

Congratulations to these ISD students and their teachers! Student works are at the individual links.

Hope Murapa, an 8th graderA. Gaines, G. Kazeba, H. Murapa, T Nipper, J Sanchez, from Orange City entered the middle school creative writing category. She earned first place; then grand prize for all participants in the writing category. Her story, “Gone,” is about the killing of a sibling due to mistaken identity by police, and how the death affects other members of the family. Read it here.

Gregory Musinde-Kazeba, a junior from Cedar Rapids, won first place in the high school ASL Handshape competition. Gregory used the handshapes of 1, S and 5 to create “BLM,” in which he expresses his sadness over the killing and oppression experienced by people who are Black. See his performance here and read its English translation here.

Jonathan Sanchez, a senior from Irwin, won first place in the high school creative writing category. Read “Felicity’s Art,” about a woman repressing a traumatic event, here.

Aiden Gaines, an 8th grader from Council Bluffs, earned honorable mention in the middle school poetry division. “Gallaudet,” is about a child wanting to visit the only university just for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. His work is  here.

TJ Nipper, a senior from Council Bluffs, earned honorable mention in the high school essay competition. Read his work about the movement to defund the police here.