WSM Attorneys to Celebrate Students’ Writings on Immigration at Awards Ceremony
May 15, 2013
Fifth-graders from around the Bay Area will be honored this evening at the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Lodge in San Francisco for the moving essays and poems they created as part of the Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest. This marks the 11th year that the contest has been put on locally by the Northern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA NorCal). More than 310 students participated in this year's contest, taking their inspiration from the theme, "Why I am glad America is a nation of immigrants." The students with the top 10 winning entries hail from schools all over the Bay Area, from San Francisco to Albany to Richmond to Larkspur. Joined by their proud families and teachers, all of the top 10 students will recite their entried and will be presented with award certificates.
At the ceremony, WSM managing partner Kirsten Schlenger will present more than $6,000 in cash awards to the teachers of the top 10 winners, so that these hardworking educators can supplement their classroom materials. The teacher awards are the result of a fundraising campaign by local volunteers of the nonprofit American Immigration Council (AIC), the sister organization to AILA and co-sponsor of the contest at the national level. WSM senior associate Lisa Baker Jones and WSM associate Stephanie C. Smith will introduce some of the student winners. WSM associate Katy Chase did media outreach for the event in her capacity as AILA NorCal media coordinator. During the reception, she'll be selling copies of the book that was created last year to commemorate the contest's 10th year, with all proceeds going toward continuing and expanding the contest. Information on the book, including how to order copies, is available here: http://www.ailanorcal.com/book/
WSM is proud to support this contest each year, as it helps nurture thoughtful dialogue on immigration in the classroom. As part of the contest, AILA NorCal member attorneys visit fifth-grade classrooms throughout Northern California and talk with students about immigration and the work they do. Over the past 11 years, students have submitted more than 4,800 entries.