Tag Archives: awards

Kaitlyn Armstrong – Winner of What is a Hero Contest



We are proud to announce the winner of our What is a Hero Contest.

Kaitlyn Armstrong is a sixth-grader at O’Leary Middle School.  We met Kaitlyn in May at the annual Career on Wheels held at the Eldon Evans Expo Center in Twin Falls where she picked up an entry to our contest. An aspiring writer, Kaitlyn won $50 for her following essay, which she read for an audience Sunday, September 7, at the Twin Falls Barnes & Noble.

Congratulations, Kaitlyn!


What is a hero?

           What do we think of when we hear the word “hero?” Being able to fly? Having super powers? Wearing a fancy cape? Is a hero someone who beats the bad guy or rescues a damsel in distress? When they slay the dragon or ward off the bad guys is the title automatic?

To me, a hero is someone who nurtures and cares about who they’re being a hero to. The teddy bear of a young child can be the champion as it wards off the dark and the nightmares in an unfamiliar place. Children witness these acts of heroism, great and small, every day. When children fall victim to the relentless teasing of bullies, the child who stops it is seen as a hero in the victims’ eyes.

And it isn’t just with children either. The smallest act of heroism from an adult can be cherished by the recipient. I found that the counselor at my previous school was seen as a hero in most people’s eyes. Easy to talk to and quick to understand the problems she was confronted with, she was the go-to person for problems about friendship and family. For some children it is hard to talk about personal problems with their parents, so being able to discuss things really took a burden off their shoulders.

In some cases, being called a hero follows immediately after a courageous act, but in others, it takes time and effort. I believe that in order to become a hero, you must work for that title. Otherwise, the hero must accomplish a deed of great kindness. Afterwards, the hero must live up to the expectations of the recipient and respect, even accept, the title they have been given.

Now as I said before, a hero to me is someone who nurtures and cares for the people around them. I think the title “hero” should be earned through acts of kindness and compassion. These are the qualities in a role model I look for, which is exactly what a hero is, a role model, and that is what a hero will always be to me.


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Filed under announcements, Archives 2014, contest, kid's books

Knievel jump anniversary event features book, Skycyle discussions

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A discussion about Evel Knievel’s Skycycle and a new children’s book about Knievel’s 1974 jump across the Snake River Canyon will take place Sunday, Sept. 7 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 239 Pole Line Road E. in Twin Falls.
The 1 to 4 p.m. event is in conjunction with River St. Press’ release, “Billie Neville Takes a Leap” by award-winning authors Bonnie Dodge and Patricia Santos Marcantonio. The story is about a ten-year old girl who dreams of being a daredevil amid the excitement over Knievel’s jump near Twin Falls.
At 1 p.m. Jay Michaels, the liaison with the Return to Snake River project, will talk about Bob Truax, who designed and built the X-2 Skycycle used by Knievel during the Sept. 8, 1974 jump. He will discuss why the 1974 Knievel launch didn’t work as planned, and the differences between the original X-2 Skycycle and the updated design that Truax’s son Scott hopes to launch over the canyon this fall with his team, fellow engineer Craig Adams and Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun.
Dodge and Marcantonio will also discuss the writing of the book. In addition, the winner of River St. Press’ “What is a Hero” essay contest will be announced. The contest was open to students entering the sixth grade.
Copies of “Billie Neville Takes a Leap” also will be available for purchase and signing.

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Filed under Archives 2014, events

Bonnie Dodge wins writing award at IWL State Conference

Bonnie Dodge placed third in the 2009 writing assigned teen fiction contest with her short story, The Pleasure of his Company.

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Filed under Archives 2009, Writing