Out of all the students in New York state, PS 94s Leon Wong is the one who has accolades in the palm of his hand.
It is the talent in the 10-year-old hand that made Leon the fifth-grade state champion out of 7,000 participants from New York in a handwriting competition in March.
In a special ceremony Friday Leon got a framed certificate, an engraved wooden pen and a round of applause from his fellow students as congratulations.
I feel very excited, proud and happy, Leon said after receiving his honors.
The contest, sponsored by textbook publisher Zaner-Bloser, an Ohio-based company, drew 105,000 participants nationwide who wrote their name and copied various sentences as contest entries, Spokesman Kenneth Simmons said.
Principal JoAnn Barbeosch said in this age of computers with everybody e-mailing handwriting is slowly becoming a lost art.
When the school learned in March that Leon won the state championship, Barbeosch said we thought it was phenomenal.
Ruth Shanske, Leons teacher, said she spotted the contest in a magazine and urged Leon and another student to enter. She eventually chose Leons entry to send to the contest.
Hes always very careful about his homework, she said of Leon. Hes an excellent student. Were thrilled.
Simmons said the contest entries were evaluated by a team of judges in Ohio. Nationwide champions were chosen for each grade level and an overall winner was chosen as well, he said.
Shanske and Barbeosch also received certificates and engraved wooden pens at the Friday morning ceremony at the Little Neck school.
Leon said he learned he would be crowned the fifth-grade New York state champion on April 30 and was just happy.
Leons mother, Terri Wong, expressed her joy for her sons accomplishments after the ceremony.
Im very proud of him, she said. Its a little bit natural, and his father always drives him to write extremely neatly.
The practice certainly paid off.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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