KALISPELL – If you’ve attended college, you know that essays are a fact of life — but how about in elementary school?
One Kalispell girl loves to write and even won a national competition with her essay about the importance of nature.
Violet Mellin from Kalispell beat 2,000 fourth through six grade kids from around the country to win a national essay competition.
Outdoors Alliance for Kids — which is part of Sierra Club Magazine — proposed the prompt “Why Nature Is Important.”
Mellin, 10, found out she won the competition while she was in school and says she could hardly contain her excitement.
“I need some room to scream. I asked my teacher if he had a place for me to do that and he said nope,” explained Mellin.
Mellin told MTN News that she’s always loved to write. Her favorite part of writing is being able to create and choose how she tells her story.
“When you’re reading a book you’re reading how the author puts it, but if you were telling it you would say it differently. So, you get to imagine how you want to say it,” Mellin said.
Mellin chose to write about why nature improves the brain, saying that being outside in nature can help our health, creativity, attention span and lower stress levels.
Mellin’s prize is an all paid trip for herself and her family to Olympic National Park in Washington state.
She says she’s the most excited to hike and explore the park.
Outdoor Alliance for Kids also gave Mellin’s teachers free new educational resources from Scholastic.
Her advice for others wanting to write is, always use primary sources and quotes to back up your writing.
When she’s not busy winning national competitions Mellin loves to draw, play the violin and earn badges as a junior ranger for Glacier National Park.
If you’re interested in reading Violet’s essay and seeing the top four, visit the Sierra Club’s website.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News