The Citrus Times Junior Journalist Club is sponsored by the Citrus County School Board and the Times. Citrus County public school students in grades three through eight are invited monthly to submit short essays on assigned topics.
Officials at each school select the two best essays in each grade level and send them to county offices, where a committee selects two essays from the school winners at each grade level as county winners. Those papers are published in the Times.
Every participant receives a Junior Journalist Club membership card. Winning authors at each grade level receive a hardcover book and a certificate of appreciation.
Fifth-graders submitted their essays on "My Most Unforgettable Moment."
The winners are Shanna Johnson, Pleasant Grove Elementary School, whose teacher is Nancy Beaudet; and Brandy Beasley, Floral City Elementary School, whose teacher is Connie Snyder.
My Most Unforgettable Moment
By Shanna Johnson
My most unforgettable moment was when I held my baby sister for the first time. She was so peaceful and happy. I reached down and gave her a kiss on her warm, rosy, pink cheek. She was only 9 hours old. I had to be very careful because she was so tiny and delicate.
My brother and I started praying for a baby brother or sister two years before she was born. Of course, my brother prayed for a boy while I prayed for a girl. I longed for a sister to play and laugh with.
My parents told my brother and me that they weren't going to have any more children and that God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want him to. But we kept right on praying.
Two years later, my parents told us that my mom was going to have a baby. Our reactions were, "Yes, we did it."
Then, one morning, I woke up to find that my mom was missing from the house. Then it hit me. It had happened! As soon as my brother came downstairs, my dad told us that at 1:15 a.m., my mom had a beautiful baby girl named Marissa Carol, our brand new baby sister. We could hardly believe our ears. After all that praying and waiting, we finally had a baby sister.
Well, my sister, Marissa, is now nearly 6 years old when only moments ago, she seemed only 9 hours old. I love her and always will. But I still have only one regret: If she had been a boy, I would have my own room. Oh well!
My Most Unforgettable Moment
By Brandy Beasley
My most unforgettable moment was the last time I spent the day with my grandma. It was so much fun. We had gone outside for a little picnic. We had cornflakes with peanut butter and milk. While we were eating, she told me some stories about when she was little.
Then, we went inside the house and had some chips while we played cards. We did that for about 3 to 4 hours.
That night, we got a flashlight and popcorn. Then, we went into my bedroom and started to tell ghost stories. In the morning, she had to go home.
The very last time I saw her, she was inside her coffin. My dad had come home and told my sister and me to sit on the couch and be quiet. After he told us, we were all crying. That night, we drove over to my papa's. By that time, everybody was crying except for my dad.
Then, my uncle told me that my grandma's work on Earth was done and she had done a good deed. They told me that she had died in a car accident. She was just a flower in God's garden and she was so beautiful, nice and precious that God decided to pick her.
She was my most favorite grandma. And nobody will ever know how much I loved her. The only memories of her that I have are the keys that go to the truck that she wrecked in. And that was the most unforgettable moment in my whole life.