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Congrats to the 2017 HSS Award Winners!

Winners Katie Zhao and Eliana Sasson accepting their big checks
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For photos of the event, Click Here

On Thursday evening, April 27th, Emma Clark Library, the family of the late Helen Stein Shack, local elected officials, representatives from the Three Village Central School district, and guests from the community gathered to honor the winners of the third annual Helen Stein Shack Picture Book Award:

First Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category):  We Can Still Be Friends! by Eliana Sasson
First Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Claire and Her Bear by Katie Zhao
Second Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Sammy the Sock Monkey by Nicole Freeley
Second Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Color Your World by Cassidy Oliver

At the ceremony in the Vincent R. O’Leary Community Room, Library Director Ted Gutmann, along with the family of Helen Stein Shack, presented all of the winners’ books – bound and added to the library’s Local Focus Collection – along with $400 scholarships to first prize winners Eliana Sasson and Katie Zhao and $100 check for second prize winners Nicole Freeley and Cassidy Oliver.

Karen Shack Reid, daughter of the late Mrs. Shack, explained how the endowment was started.  “My brother had suggested we need to do something in Mommy’s memory…we threw around some suggestions, kind of talked about it, reached out to my nieces and my nephews…got a lot of great ideas.  That’s how supportive this family is.  My oldest nephew, my sister’s son, is a librarian, and he said, ‘Why don’t we do something at Emma S. Clark Library that Zafta – that’s grandma in Hebrew – loves so much? …that just fit.”

Assemblyman Steve Englebright spoke at the event, and the winners also received certificates from Senator John Flanagan, Legislator Kara Hahn, and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright.  Library Board President Linda Josephs, along with Trustees Deborah Blair and Richard Russell, were there to congratulate the winners.  And Three Village Central School District President of the Board of Education William Connors, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Kevin Scanlon, Ward Melville High School Librarian April Hatcher, and Gelinas Junior High School Librarian Nicole Connelly were all in attendance.

Guests enjoyed special treats donated by The Bite Size Bake Shop, a local Three Village-owned business.  Ward Melville High School teen volunteer Mimi Zahed photographed the event.

The Helen Stein Shack Book Contest called for teens in grades 7 through 12 who live in the Three Village Central School District to create a children’s picture book.  Each entry could be the work of a single author/illustrator or a collaborative effort of an author and an illustrator.  The contest was divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one First Prize Winner and one Second Prize Winner selected from each group.  This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family.  The library is grateful to the children of the late Mrs. Shack who have established a substantial endowment with the library to cover the cost of the winning scholarships.

Assemblyman Steve Englebright remarked to the winners, “It was an extraordinary level of creativity that you brought to this, and you will continue to show that as you develop your own adult lives and careers, which is part of the genius of this family’s gift:  to make an investment into young people like this.”

Past Winners

Grand Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Good Night, Judy by Katie Zhao
Grand Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Sal the Sock by Michelle Pacala
Honorable Mention (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Rainbow by Nicole Freeley
Honorable Mention (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Honu by Samantha White


Grand Prize (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Lenny the Lion by Leah Cussen
Grand Prize (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Lilabet by Wendy Wahlert
Honorable Mention (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Red Books for Rainy Days by Anny Weisenberg
Honorable Mention (Grades 7 – 9 category):  Freddy the Fish and the First Day of School by Daniel Kim
Honorable Mention (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Heal Our Mother Earth by Kiera Alventosa
Honorable Mention (Grades 10 – 12 category):  Pengy Goes on an Adventure by Sarah Jiang and Karen Jiang

The public may view last year’s winning entries at emmaclark.org/picturebookaward/ or the 2015 winners at emmaclark.org/picturebookaward2015.