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The B’nai B’rith Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge awards season is in full swing, and the Delaware Gazette in Ohio covered the Greater Columbus Area contest winners. This was the first year for the contest in Columbus, which was generously sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, which also wrote a release on the contest.

The Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge is an education and awareness initiative created by B’nai B’rith International as one of its programs that promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. 

Our goal is to destroy prejudices and strengthen the future of our youth through enlightenment, inspiration and education.

Read highlights from the Delaware Gazette article, below:

McGraw-Hill Education Post:

McGraw-Hill Education sponsors youth writing contest to help promote tolerance in schools

At McGraw-Hill Education we know first-hand the power that literacy can have and the importance of teaching tolerance and diversity inside and outside the classroom. Earlier this year we announced an initiative to help B’nai B’rith bring the Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge to Columbus, Ohio — the home for our K-12 operations.

With separate contests already established in major metro areas including New York City and Washington D.C. Metro, Diverse Minds is a writing and illustration contest to encourage K-12 students to celebrate tolerance and diversity. In addition to the wining students receiving a $5,000 scholarship, each contest’s winning books are published and also made into e-books available for free download on iTunes and Amazon.

This spring student teams from throughout central Ohio submitted their authored and illustrated books for review by a judge’s panel including Dan Good, superintendent of Columbus City Schools; Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council; and Cabot Rea, NBC4 anchor and station leader of Battle Against Bullying. The 2015 Columbus region Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge winner was “The Very Special Candy,” written and illustrated by Amanda Ba and Meghan McCloskey from Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.

In addition to promoting Diverse Minds throughout Columbus, McGraw-Hill Education helped raise funds for B’nai B’rith to grow and expand the contest in years to come. School Senior Vice President Lisa Carmona also acknowledged the student winners during the awards ceremony, speaking on the importance of tolerance and literacy in today’s ever-connected education environment.

McGraw-Hill Education partners with students and educators around the world to create solutions that can accommodate learning needs and preferences that are as diverse as the people who use them each day. We’re proud to help support theDiverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge and spread its positive message that inspires student creativity and literacy awareness.

Columbus CEO Spotlight:

McGraw-Hill Education Partners With B’nai B’rith to Bring Diversity writing challenge to Columbus High School Students.

Last week, McGraw-Hill Education partnered with B’nai B’rith International to host the first Columbus Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge. Ten students from Olentangy Orange, New Albany and Westerville Central high schools were finalists in the children’s book writing and illustration contest. Winning students were recognized during a ceremony at the Thurber House.

Olentangy Orange students Amanda Ba and Meghan McCloskey took home first place.

Earlier this year B’nai B’rith approached McGraw-Hill about sponsoring the contest in Columbus. More than 800 McGraw-Hill employees are based in Columbus, one of the largest locations companywide.

 “We were so blown away by this. They’ve been doing it for nine years now in a bunch of cities across the country. It was very impressive,” says Dan Sieger, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for McGraw-Hill Education. The competition’s focus on diversity and tolerance appealed to McGraw-Hill, Sieger says.

“We understand how important is is to teach diversity in the classroom. We’ve seen first-hand the difference that diversity education can make for young people. We know how being creative and creating your own product matters for young people,” says Sieger. “In the end, that’s why we want to support like-minded organizations.”

The company will also sponsor the B’nai B’rith Distinguished Achievement Awards dinner in New York on Thursday.

Delaware Gazette:

For Columbus’ inaugural event, B’nai B’rith worked in partnership with McGraw-Hill Education. This education and awareness initiative was created as part of B’nai B’rith programming that promotes tolerance and communicates a message of equality among all citizens.

The finalists and winners were recognized and congratulated by McGraw-Hill Education senior vice president Lisa Carmona and B’nai B’rith International board of governors member Peter Perlman.

In addition, Ba and McCloskey’s teacher, who oversaw the creation of their winning book, will receive a $500 stipend to use for classroom or organizational materials. Olentangy Orange High School will also receive a $500 grant.

Judges this year included: Dan Good, superintendent of Columbus City Schools, Ohio’s largest school district; Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council; and Cabot Rea, NBC4 anchor and leader of the news station’s Battle Against Bullying initiative.