2017 Scholastic Art & Writing winners Finney recently announced this year's Scholastic Art and Writing region-at- large winners!

Our winners (and what they won):

  • Madison Jones – 1 silver key in writing
  • Rachel Rosser – 1 gold key in writing
  • Beth Smith – 1 silver key in writing

Madison Jones is a senior. Her essay, "I Am Looking at the World Through Autism Colored Glasses," takes the reader on a tour of her day with autism, showing some of her struggles and skills and offering new perspectives on topics such as social functioning, coping with school, and senses. Her essay is not included  here because of length.

Rachel Rosser and Beth Smith are both Juniors at the Charles Finney School; you can read their award-winning poems below.

Alzheimer's Disease

by Rachel Rosser


The old man speaks through coffee cups and playing cards.

He lives in photo albums and desolate rooms.

Crying through hands that have been scarred,

As the isolated hurt resumes.


A curtain encases his brain,

And his memories are broken glass.

Each day he relives the searing pain,

That his wife has passed.


In a room across the hall,

A woman sits and stares.

She feels trapped within hospital walls,

And she's forgotten why she's there.


Those who don't know the woman say she's of no use,

The curtain has spun her memories like webs.

They'll assume a mental "screw" is loose,

When she forgets her name and forgets her bed.


But if they knew that red is her favorite,

And that she drinks Coca Cola with every meal,

Maybe they would take the time to savor it.

Her mind may be foggy, but her love is real.


The old man speaks through coffee cups and playing cards.

Though the curtain steals his past,

He remembers that the war was hard,

And his friend that couldn't run as fast.


The people sit on tile floors,

Weak and wheelchair bound.

They eagerly wait at the door,

For their family to come around.


Hope is seeing the face of a loved one,

Making the darkness seem lighter.

Hope is seeing their favorite grandson,

Which makes living so much brighter.


Through hospital beds and dusty chairs,

And the courtyard in September,

They aren't any less than a person, we shouldn’t not care,

Because they can't remember.



by Beth Smith



A boy sits,

unaware of what lies ahead.

His young life an empty slate

soon to be filled with dread


He’s older now—

of schooling age,

his journey beginning to unfold.

He’s unaware of coming hate,

of what his future holds


And then it happens—

the first offence

he’s given a name that’s not his own.

“Stupid,” they call him,

and immediately he feels alone


His canvas, marred by empty words,

now littered with ugly shades of brownish-black

smeared carelessly across the once-clear cloth—

a luxury he’ll never get back


He wonders quietly,

“is it true?”

These doubts grow

and splash more paint

forming a grotesque hue


He’s older now, and isolated,

he thinks for others’ good.

The words they said still resonate

and he's starting to believe they should


He becomes his own oppressor—

he tells himself he's worthless



even hopeless


He’s older now—

of working age

entering the inhospitable world.

He does his best and gives his all

yet society refuses to change


They judge him by his darker skin;

they see him as subordinate.

They ridicule his ancestors

none of which does he emulate


He stares forlornly at his revolting canvas

defaced by society’s hostility.

He then realizes it isn’t a mirror,

but an illustration of society’s proclivity


He steps back from the appalling composition

and gets a clearer view.

Beginning to see his inner worth,

he desires to be different­­—

to make himself anew


Gingerly, he lifts the painting brush

and sets out to take a stand.

The defiant stains retaliate,

yet their efforts prove futile

thanks to his persistent, determined hand


Finally, he pauses to look

at what his canvas has become.

He steps back and marvels

at what all his hard work had done


Indeed the cloth is enveloped

in the dark and grisly hues of old,

yet his eye cannot help but be drawn to a humble figure—

and what a figure to behold


Amongst the chaos now stands a man

adorned with vibrant honor and confidence,

the man so uncommonly dignified

that the darkness seemed rather envious


And so the artist stands,

mentally at ease,

for now he sees himself for who he truly is—


as a masterpiece.


Congratulations to these students on their hard work and success!

Congratulations to Mrs. Pamela Perez and Mrs. Rebecca Lydon, as this is the first year of Scholastic competition for them both.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has an impressive legacy dating back to 1923. Over the years, the Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. More than 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted from students throughout the East Coast, and only one fifth of the work submitted is recognized with awards.

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