Jada Elfar, a seventh-grade student in Shawn Ratliff’s civics class at the King Abdullah Academy in Herndon, recently was named the winner in several levels of the American Legion Department of Virginia Middle School Essay Contest.
The contest was open to all Virginia middle-school students, whether in public or private schools. Each essay, which had to start with the phrase “I like living in America because . . . ,” had to be completed in class as an assignment and had to be less than 160 words.
Elfar first competed against all of the students in her class and three other civics classes. After Ratliff graded her essay as the best out of both of his civics classes, Elfar’s essay also was judged the best in the school by principal Noha Elghosein and middle-school assistant principal Deborah Mohammed.
After winning at King Abdullah Academy, Elfar’s essay was sent to the American Legion Post 270 in McLean, where it was placed in competition against essays of local middle-schools, such as Longfellow and Cooper. Her won first place again, along with a certificate and a cash award.
After this second victory, American Legion Post 270 sent Elfar’s essay to the American Legion 17th District, which oversees 17 American Legion posts in the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the counties of Arlington and Fairfax. Elfar’s essay again won first place, plus another certificate and financial award.