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July 21, 2020 - 2:05pm

Above: Christina Brown, a student from Batavia City School District, created a design called "Covid-19" and placed third in The DIGIES Graphic Arts division -- Grades 7-9.

Submitted image and press release:

Despite cancellation due to COVID-19 of the annual media awards event called "The DIGIES" put on by the School Library System, there were more entries than ever this year and a total of 14 third-place winners from Genesee County.

The system's media conference, festival and awards is a program of the Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services -- BOCES.

The mission of The DIGIES is to strengthen the digital media continuum between PreK-12 schools, higher education and professional institutions. The DIGIES recognizes student potential in an annual festival format and students compete from all throughout the region and the Upstate New York area.

The year’s festival awards event was scheduled to be held last month at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. 

Emilee Hillman and Andrea Fetterly, Library Technologies’ specialists coordinate this conference. Fetterly said that school building closures due to COVID-19 did not dampen enthusiasm for this year’s festival, which drew a number of entries.

“We are excited to celebrate the amazing creativity and skill demonstrated by the participants in this year's DIGIES festival," Fetterly said. "Despite a shortened in-person school year and extraordinary circumstances, students continue to achieve great success."

Below is a listing of categories, grades, winners and school districts from Genesee County. (Other categories were Audio and Interactive Media, but there were no winners from Genesee County.)

Congratulations to these imaginative students!

GRAPHIC ARTS

Grades 7-9

1st:                   The Stranger by Zac Hakes -- Hilton CSD

2nd:                  Fatoma by Cornelia Adakah -- Pittsford CSD

3rd:                  Covid-19 by Christina Brown -- Batavia CSD

3rd:                   En Pointe by Cammi Eccleston -- Hilton CSD

VIDEO

Grades 7-9

1st:                   The Silk Road by Jonathan Popper -- Pittsford CSD (Submitted by Animatus Studio)

2nd:                  Land Rover Series III Pickup: Desert Joyride by Zachary Heiman -- Dansville CSD

3rd:                  Things to do in Quarantine by Matthew Covert -- Le Roy CSD

Grades 10-12

1st:                  Doors by Jacob French -- Geneseo CSD

2nd:                 Michi by Ashlyn Kreiss -- Pittsford CSD

3rd (tie):           A Quest to Learn Part I by Devon Deuel -- Dansville CSD

3rd (tie):          Quarantine Catch by Mikayla Hickey, Makenna Boyce, Kayla Yax, Adeline Kautz, Kelsey Kautz, Samantha Sawyer, Neva Saile, Emma Raines, Courtney Schum, Emily Balduf, Sydney Smith and Taylor Fletcher (Alexander Softball) -- Alexander CSD

(Editor's note: we asked, but entries from the Le Roy and Alexander winners were not available from GV BOCES' School Library System, which runs The DIGIES event.)

March 14, 2010 - 1:45pm

How often does this happen? Batavia got a visit from two acclaimed authors last week -- two days in a row!

The first was Garth Stein, author of the 2010 Tale for Three Counties committee pick, "The Art of Racing in the Rain." At the committee's invitation, Stein came to speak to readers and sign autographs at the Richmond Memorial Library on Thursday night.

This latest work is Stein's third novel and it's about a Seattle family as told by none other than -- Enzo, the family dog.

Stein's book had the honor of a 38-week streak on the New York Times bestseller list, won several awards and honors, and has been translated into 31 languages. Stein recently signed a film deal with Universal Studios and hopes to see the book made into a movie in the near future.

The second author was award-winning children's writer Robert D. San Souci, who came to speak to the children and sign autographs at John Kennedy Elementary School Friday afternoon.

San Souci's works include "The Talking Eggs," "Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella," the "Dare to be Scared" series and "The Legend of Scarface." He also wrote the story for the 1998 Disney film "Mulan." His visit to JK was arranged by Donna Katter, program assistant for Genesee Valley BOCES' School Library System.

Whether you were in the almost-over-crowded reading room at RML or sitting in the school cafeteria as hand after hand after hand shot up from the crowd of fifth-graders during the Q&A session, you would have gotten a good idea of just how much people still appreciate their writers.

Both authors read portions of their books and shared funny anecdotes from their lives and careers, including the setbacks they have faced while trying to get their work published.

Stein, for example, talked about having gone from one agent to another before he finally found someone who wanted to take a chance on a book narrated by a dog.

San Souci -- who realized he was destined to become a writer in second grade -- said that he wrote persistently for many years, facing a long string of what he called "thanks, but no thanks" letters from publishers.

Both men were kind enough to share some of their thoughts, insights and comments with The Batavian after signing autographs -- at RML and the JK Media Center, respectively.

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