Living Textbook Kodak scholar wins $1,000 prize

2 Comments 28 September 2011

By Niveen Dabaja
Unis Middle School

Unis 7th grader Mirvat Chammout has been named a Kodak scholar and won $1,000 from the Asian American Journalists Association, which sponsors The Living Textbook.

Mirvat Chammout

Kodak supported the Living Textbook journalism class at Unis during the 2010-2011 school year by donating 25 Zx1 high-definition video cameras.

Chammout won for her essay and also took pictures with the Kodak cameras and made them into slide shows that are posted on The Living Textbook. She has put up slide shows about her mom winning in a cupcake contest and a trip that the class took to an environmental journalism day at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

When Chammout’s name was called as the winner, she was excited and nervous. She said she had no idea she would be the winner. “I thought I’d win a camera or Kodak supplies but it ended up being $1,000. I thought maybe there was a 50% chance I would win. My parents were very proud my mom told me that I did a great job.”

The winning Kodak essay

I write stories because it helps people know more about a topic. For example, I wrote a story with Samira Maatouk about bodybuilding because a lot of people don’t know a lot about bodybuilding and it has been ignored for a long time because of the use of steroids.

I also wrote a story about bullying because it is a big issue and I have had experience in the past and wanted to let people know that they were not alone and that there were many others who had the same problem. Nobody’s perfect, even me. We all have problems.

I’m not sparkling, cool, or dazzling, but I have a heart!”

I learned in journalism that when you are taking pictures you have to remember the rule of thirds and to shoot pictures from different kinds of angles. For example, when I filmed a video for the story about a lesson I had learned, instead of taping my dad in front of me, I decided to put the camera on a table where he would talk to me and the camera would capture the moment. I also learned that you have to interview people and put their quotes into the story, as well. For instance, when I wrote the story about bullying I interviewed a couple of kids in my school and I put their quotes into the story with the help of my peers.

Before I was in journalism, my writing was good, but ever since I joined journalism, my writing has improved enormously and I understand more now how to write a story. I can add quotes into stories, end paragraphs, and even take pictures and record videos better, such as the slideshow I made about the trip to the University of Michigan in Dearborn.

The most surprising and interesting thing I learned in journalism is that journalists have to interview people and add them into the story. For example, I recently wrote a story about a contest that a baker, my mother, Mariam Chammout entered. It was a cupcake contest and she was contestant #2. The other most interesting thing I learned was that I could take pictures, record videos and turn them into a slideshow and match it with a story.

I got interested in writing stories because it helps me, in a way, to express my feelings and let others learn something new every day and carry it on with them and teach others also. In the future, I hope to become a very successful journalist just like Emilia Askari, Joe Grimm and Frank Witsil. I owe all my thanks to Emilia, Joe, Frank, the class and of course Ms. April Kincaid.

With their help, I wrote very good stories and I hope to continue on for years to come.

Thank you,

– Mirvat Chammout

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Amal Kady says:

    great job wow your parents should be proud of you and they are if my name was called i would get up and be crazy and wow thats a lot 1,000!!!!!!!!!!

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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