For the sixth year in a row, Pine Cobble students have been recognized by the competitive Letters About Literature writing competition.

Will McDonough, a fifth grade student, and Merrie Benjamin, a sixth grade student, both won honors designations, ranking them in the top 1 percent of young writers in Massachusetts. Jack Gitterman, in fifth grade, was a semi-finalist.

McDonough and Benjamin will be honored during a ceremony at the State House in Boston this upcoming Tuesday, May 27.

During the past six years, a total of 12 Pine Cobble students have been recognized by this competition, which has between 3,000 and 5,000 entrants in Massachusetts alone every single year.

The competition asks students in Grades 4 through 12 to write letters to authors whose work has made a significant difference in their lives. It is sponsored nationally by the Library of Congress and Target Stores. The evaluation process includes review by both national panelists and in-state judges.

Pine Cobble fifth grade students took on the challenge as a part of a classroom assignment on writing, with support from fifth grade teacher Cornelia Alden.

McDonough wrote to C.S. Lewis about "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," noting how the character Peter found strength in the face of disappointment. Gitterman wrote to Tim Green about "Unstoppable," the story of a foster child determined to play football.


Last year, as a fifth grade student, Benjamin won an honors designation. This year, although it was not a part of her curriculum, she submitted a letter independently to JK Rowling about "Harry Potter" and won an honors designation a second year in a row.