Students from Newberry, York win 2024 Children’s Book Challenge

Two books, authored and illustrated by elementary students from South Carolina, have been selected as the statewide winners of the 2024 Children’s Book Challenge.

Phoenix and the Town Power Outage, written and illustrated by Reuben Elementary (Newberry) 5th graders Harper Rowe and Ali Chapman, had the highest cumulative score in the group division.

The Old Farm House, written and illustrated by Easton D. Hall of York, won the individual division.

Winners of the 2024 Children's Book Challenge, group division
Boozer, Rowe & Chapman

Reuben Elementary celebrates winners

Rowe and Chapman were surprised when cooperative representatives announced at a school-wide assembly that they had won the statewide contest on March 22. Newberry Electric CEO Keith Avery and board members attended as well as the school district’s superintendent, State Rep. Joe White, and members of the winners’ families.

The two split the $500 cash prize and their teacher, Kevin Boozer, was awarded a $100 prize. The book, created on the literacy-focused online platform StoryJumper, will be published and distributed to elementary schools throughout the state this summer. Harper and Ali will also be recognized by the South Carolina General Assembly on April 25.

Phoenix and the Town Power Outage takes readers through the aftermath of a power outage and the main character’s investigation of its cause.

2024 Children's Book Challenge winner, Indvidual division
Easton Hall

Hall has history with York Electric

Electric cooperative representatives presented the award to Easton at the York Electric headquarters on Thursday, March 21 with his family, York Electric employees, and York Electric CEO Paul Basha in attendance.  Easton, who is homeschooled, was presented a $500 cash prize and his teacher and mom, Heather Hall, was awarded a $100 prize. Easton will be recognized by the South Carolina General Assembly on April 17.

The Old Farm House tells the story of a boy named Isaac, who learns about how the cooperative first brought electricity to the home his ancestor built 150 years ago, and how it continues to serve his family today. Easton dedicated the book to his father, who is an employee at York Electric.

The book was also created on StoryJumper and featured Easton’s original artwork. It too will be published and distributed to elementary schools throughout the state.

Sponsored by EnlightenSC, an educational initiative of Newberry Electric and the state’s electric cooperatives, the competition challenges 4th and 5th-grade students to write and illustrate stories that focus on the impact of electricity in their lives, communities, and the state.