Howard County Reads Scholarship Essay Contest

To Enter, submit your three page essay that discusses the following:


In Orphan Train Molly Ayer’s teacher discusses how historically the Wabanakis Native American tribe had to carry their canoes and everything they possessed across land from one water body to the next. They had to think carefully about what to keep and what to discard. The teacher asks students to interview someone – a mother or father or grandparent – about their own portages, the moments in their lives when they’ve had to take a journey. And we would like you to do the same.

Talk to someone significant in your life about when they’ve had to take a journey, literal or metaphorical. Ask them the same questions: “What do you choose to bring with you to the next place in your life? What do you leave behind? What insights did you gain about what’s important?” Discuss how these ideas and this concept of portage relates to the journey of the characters in Orphan Train and also how it connects to your significant person and to your personal journey as you prepare for college.


How to Enter

To enter, read the official rules, write an essay based on the topic question, and submit an applicant information form.

  • Essays must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • Entries may be sent via email to the Kokomo-Howard County Library at or submitted via the Online Form to your right.
  • Entries may also be mailed to:

    Nicole Porter
    Children’s Services Coordinator
    Kokomo-Howard County Library
    220 North Union Street
    Kokomo, IN, 46901 

Contest begins September 5, 2014. To be eligible, all emailed entries must be received no later than November 9, 2014 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time. All mailed entries must be received on or by November 9, 2014.

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