For Immediate Release
WordMasters
Allendale, New Jersey
   A student representing Cortez High School recently won high honors in this year’s WordMasters Challenge, a national competition for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry.
   In the year’s fourth meet, held in April, Summer White made only one mistake and placed among the 304 highest-scoring eleventh graders nationwide. More than 55,000 students from 46 states entered the meet. The school’s participation was overseen by Diane Bykowski.
   The premise behind the WordMasters Challenge is that attentive reading and sensitivity to language are among the most important skills students acquire in school. The texts students must analyze for the Challenge can range from short fiction by Eudore Welty or John Updike to poetry as old as Shakespeare’s or as recent as Margaret Atwood’s, and to essays as classic as E.B. White’s or as current as a Newsweek Magazine essay by George Will. Though the texts vary widely in voice, subject, tone, and length, they have one thing in common: style. All use language skillfully to convey layers and shades of meaning not always apparent to students on a first or casual reading.

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