Our 2 Winners—Annual Writing Challenge

FAIRLAWN, OH—We want to congratulate this years winners of the Third Annual Buckeye Community Hope Writing Challenge, are pleased to announce that two of the winners are students at Cambridge schools!


Elijah Berindane, 6th-grade winner

Each year, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation (BCHF)—an authorized community school sponsor—holds a writing challenge that is open to students grades 3 and up. Elijah Berindane, 6th grader at Buckeye Preparatory Academy, and Alisha Powell, 7th grader at Winton Preparatory Academy got the highest scores in their grade-level.

There were more than 400 students from 45 schools who participated in this year’s writing challenge, and only one student from each grade band (3–5, 6–8, 9–12) could submit an essay. We are proud that two of this year’s winners came from schools managed by Cambridge Education Group! We also had one winner last year—also a student from Winton Prep.

“We are thrilled,” proclaimed Renee Bolton, Principal at Buckeye Prep.

Buckeye Community Hope provided a writing prompt for each grade band and asked for submissions. Schools were asked to submit one essay per grade band and each grade band had a different topic/essay prompt. The 3rd–5th graders were asked to read a book (selected by BCHF) about the extinction of bees, then write a short article that is factually supported by the text about what could happen if the bees went extinct, what scientists are doing to prevent it, and how students their age could help. Sixth–8th grade students were asked to weigh the pros and cons, then take and defend a position, for or against animal farms based on an excerpt from a book that discusses the same topic.


Alisha Powell, 7th-grade winner

At our schools, each 3rd–8th grade classroom had students competing in the writing challenge by either working independently on the writing assignment, or with a group of students. After completing the project, each classroom teacher submitted their students’ entries to the school director, at which point the director was required to choose one essay from each grade band based upon a rubric provided by Buckeye Community Hope Foundation.

Once an essay from each grade band was selected, these were then forwarded to BCHF to be entered into their 3rd Annual Writing Challenge for consideration. A team of five readers read those essays and scored them on a rubric. Each essay was read a minimum of two times and scores combined to identify the winners.

“The quality and depth of writing increases every year and we are so grateful for everyone’s participation,” said Anita McCarty, Data Analyst in the Education Division of BCHF.

Each student who participated in the writing challenge received a ribbon and the winners of each grade level receive a trophy and a ribbon that were presented in front of their class. The winners of the grade bands received a ribbon and trophy plus a cash prize.

We are so incredibly proud of our two students, Elijah and Alisha, who won their grade-level competition! We hope that they continue writing and developing the skills to write well—we can’t wait to read what you write next! And we’re proud of the staff at our two schools, Buckeye Prep and Winton Prep, for helping this happen by teaching and encouraging the students.

The full list of winners is:

Anvar Akhmedov—Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School

Danely Caraballo; Aleanna Britton; Charity Jones—Lincoln Park

Lacey Yacketta—Puritas Community Middle School

Anvar Akhmedov—Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School

3RD GRADE: Elvira Iskandar—Horizon Science Academy Dayton Downtown
4th GRADE: Cabdullaahi Nuur; Kofi Ocran—HSA Elementary
5th GRADE: Danely Caraballo; Aleanna Britton; Charity Jones—Lincoln Park
6th GRADE: Elihah Berindane—Buckeye Prep
7th GRADE: Alisha Powell—Winton Prep
8th GRADE: Lacey Yacketta—Puritas


Winton Preparatory Academy is a K-8 school dedicated to enriching the lives of students in the Cincinnati area. Our focus is not only on providing a state-of-the-art education that supersedes instruction at public schools, but also focuses on a culture of high behavioral and academic expectations that teaches our students to be life-long learners who are dedicated to contributing to the local community as well as to the global society. Learn more or schedule a tour by visiting our website.

Buckeye Preparatory Academy is an elementary charter school located in Columbus, Ohio, serving students in grades K-8. Buckeye Prep places high importance on safety and civility, which are core to having a good learning environment and building character. Buckeye Prep offers a project-based curriculum philosophy that incorporates technology and promotes independence and critical thinking. To learn more, visit our website.

The Buckeye Community Hope Foundation (BCHF) was approved as a community school sponsor by the State of Ohio Board of Education in 2004. BCHF believes that community schools are an innovative and progressive approach for developing high quality educational options and seeks to foster and nurture productive relationships with Ohio community schools, providing ongoing guidance and professional oversight geared toward the success of community schools and their students. BCHF is committed to promoting high student achievement, financial stewardship, and responsible governance and management with the schools we authorize. To learn more about BCHF, visit their website here.