Magic Wand prompts creative writing with fifth graders

Published 5:13 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Two Suffolk fifth grade students were recognized by magician Chris Michael recently as winners of the Magic Box Essay Writing Contest.

During his Saturday, Feb. 18 show, Michael wowed the audience with his mind-reading, comedy, and sleight-of -hand at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. He also recognized the contest winners, Emma Genito of Florence Bowser Elementary School and Ella Brittle of Tidewater Academy.

Genito is the first-place essay winner from Suffolk Public Schools with a message on wanting to change childhood bullying. Second-place went to Brittle representing Tidewater Academy located in Wakefield. She wished to rid the world of all diseases.

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Their winning essays were selected from more than 70 submitted to the Suffolk center by the Feb. 6 deadline.

“There were so many wonderful entries and some very imaginative essays,” Rick Byrd, SCCA Creative Director, said. ”It is obvious that children are very aware of the world of which they are a part. And many of them have a clear vision of how they would make changes. We wish that every child who entered the contest could be a winner, but we only had the opportunity to select a first and second-place winner.”  

As part of the prize package, both Genito and Brittle were invited to see the Feb. 18 Chris Michael Experience at the Suffolk Center, along with their families and teachers. During the show, Michael brought both to the stage to acknowledge their creative writing and congratulate them for being such wonderful thinkers with a purpose. He awarded each of the students with a magic wand and magic kits. 

Michael also took the time to read Genito’s first place essay to the audience and shared his personal connection to Emma’s narrative on ending bullying. He revealed how, at a very young age, magic was what inspired his creativity and built his confidence, silencing his detractors. Both girls appeared thrilled to have the opportunity to have their creative writing applauded by the Birdsong Theater audience.


‘The Magic Wand’

by Emma Genito – first place winner
Florence Bowser Elementary School, fifth grade, Patricia Hawk’s class

I was walking home from school one day and I found a wooden box on my porch.  It was magical, awesome, and somewhat mysterious.  It lit up!  It swirled around me like it was gushing for life. I read a note that said “This wand has the power to change the world. But be careful, you can only wave it once.”  I thought of several things and the one thing that I would change is childhood bullying.  All kids deserve to be happy and want to go to school. I would never let them get bullied again!  As I waved my wand around flashed like my picture was being taken. Suddenly, there was no more bullying. And then I woke up to the beeping of my alarm and realized it was just a dream. But I will still do my part of make the world a better place.


‘The Magic Wand’

by Ella Brittle – second place winner
Tidewater Academy, fifth grade, Mrs. Werner’s Class

If I found a magic wand that could change the world, I would definitely choose for it to get rid of all diseases and sicknesses. I would choose this because I know a lot of people who have struggled with a disease or bad sickness. These people include close family members. Luckily, they are okay and well to this day. I also know further distant relatives who have, sadly, died from a disease or virus. COVID -19 is a deadly virus, I’m sure, almost everyone is aware of. A lot of people (especially those towards Asia) are out there really struggling with COVID-19. There are almost 60,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in China in the past month and a half. I believe this would be a very harsh and painful death. Stay safe and sanitary!