Currently Browsing

Posts Tagged ‘ scholarship ’

Announcing the 2020 Scholarship Finalists

2020 Help Teaching Scholarship Finalists
2020 Help Teaching Scholarship Finalists

Every year, Help Teaching holds a scholarship competition for aspiring writers. High school and college students submit their best short stories and informational texts for kids in the hopes of winning a $1,000 prize.

This year, our team read through nearly 800 scholarship entries, many of which were amazing works. This year, instead of choosing ten finalists and a few honorable mentions, we narrowed the pool down to 15 pieces. The following entries rose to the top and one was ultimately declared the winner.

Congratulations to all of the finalists and the 2020 Scholarship winner.

#15 Fighting a Cupcake Intruder by Jeana Schafer

Jeana Schafer’s piece takes kids through the digestive process by describing what happens to a cupcake from the moment it begins to enter the mouth. Through this piece, kids can learn more about what happens to the food they eat. Jeana is a 2020 graduate who plans to attend UC-Davis.

#14 Mae Jemison: Female Astronaut by Maya Sousa

Mae Jemison Biography

Mae Jemison was the first African-American astronaut. This piece by Maya Sousa, a student at the University of Colorado – Denver, describes her life and her impact on the space community.

#13 A Message from Mr. Rogers by Justin Hui

Mr. Rogers was known for his kindness and willingness to have difficult conversations in a way that kids could understand. This piece by Justin Hui, a recent graduate who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh, shares a bit about how Mr. Rogers got his message across.

#12 Choose Your Own Adventure: The Life of a Plastic Water Bottle by Jennifer Xu

Jennifer Xu, a member of the Carlmont High School Class of 2021, wrote a piece that shows kids the importance of recycling. As they read, kids can pick what they want to do with a plastic water bottle and find out what happens as a result of the choice they make.

#11 Modern Treasure Hunt by Drew Cribbs

Have you ever been geocaching? Drew Cribbs, a graduate of Morgan County High School who plans to attend the University of Georgia, introduces kids to a way to enjoy a modern treasure hunt. The piece offers an overview of geocaching to help interest kids in the activity.

#10 The Mysterious Unicorn by Katelyn Shultz

Narwhal Informational Text

Narwhals are often thought of as mythical creatures, but they’re actually real. In her informational piece, Katelyn Shultz, a student at UNCW’s Watson College of Education, shares some fun facts about this unique creature.

#9 The Adventures of Ottie-O by Julie McCullough

Julie McCullough, a student at WGU, put her special education knowledge to work and wrote a story about an otter who struggles with loud noises. This is a great story to help students with autism or other sensory issues and can also be shared with other kids to help them understand their peers.

#8 The Lucky Color by Yen Nhi Ha

Red can symbolize many things, but in Asian cultures it is often a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. Yen Nhi Ha, a student at Jersey Village High School, shares the importance of this color in this short informational piece.

#7 A Special Leg by Arianna Turchetti

Prothesis Short Story

In this short story by Arianna Turchetti, a boy and his teacher have a very open conversation about what a prosthesis is. This story is a great way to introduce students to a topic that may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar to them. Arianna is a graduate of Enochs High School and plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.

#6 A Round of Applause for the Costume Shop by Mariah Bowers

Mariah Bowers, a student at the University of Phoenix, takes students behind the scenes of the theater and introduces them to the costume shop. This short piece highlights some of the key positions in the costume shop, from the designer to the stitchers.

#5 Ruth Wakefield: History’s Smartest Cookie by Lena McEachern

Lena McEachern, a student at Carlsbad High School, shared the story of Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn and inventor of the infamous chocolate chip. Her story shows that sometimes not having the right ingredients on hand can lead to sweet surprises.

#4 Scared Speechless? by Keely Bayley

Many students struggle with public speaking, but Keely Bayley, a student at Fishers High School, gives them hope. This piece shares tips to help improve public speaking skills, beginning with the most important thing to remember when giving a speech: be prepared.

Artificial Intelligence Informational Text

#3 Intelligence, but the Artificial Kind by Archika Dogra

How many people use voice recognition devices on a daily basis? This piece by Archika Dogra shares some information about these devices and explains how they differ from more conventional forms of computer science. Archika plans to attend Princeton University.

#2 A Job to Cuddle For by Katrina Chiong

One of our favorite pieces came in just before the deadline. Katrina Chiong, a student at Northside College Prepatory High School shared an informative piece about baby cuddlers. The piece explains the important role this hospital volunteers play in the lives of preemies.

#1 WINNER! Bessie’s Dream by Joanna Chong Jiaxuan

Bessie Coleman Biography

Bessie Coleman was one of the first African-American and female pilots in the world. This winning story from Joanna Chong Jiaxuan, a student at San Jose State University, describes how Bessie worked hard to reach her dream and the impact she had on the world.

If you know a high school or college student, encourage them to apply for the scholarship next year. Entries are due June 1, 2021.

Don’t forget to read the stories from our previous finalists and winners: 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Announcing the 2019 Scholarship Finalists

Announcing the 2019 Scholarship Winner and Finalists

This year, the Scholarship received hundreds of entries. Students from all over the United States and Canada submitted stories, poems, and informational articles on topics such as understanding disabilities, making new friends, and taking care of the environment. After reviewing all of the entries, we have this year’s finalists and the winner of this year’s college scholarship. All of the finalists’ entries have been published on and the winner will receive $1,000 to apply towards college tuition expenses.

Honorable Mention

Although these pieces didn’t quite make the cut, we felt they were still worthy of recognition.

Jessica Shenning, a freshman at Georgia State University, shared a short story about a little girl who enjoys baking with her mother and learns how to bake a special treat of her own. Read Learning to Bake >>

Jamie Lee, a student at the University of Virginia, wrote a story that reminds kids “there’s no place like home.”  Read There’s No Place Like Home >> Depositphotos_30502391_s-2019

Lydia Colon, a senior at New Smyrna Beach High School, wrote about finding sand dollars in the ocean. Read Sand Dollars >>

Elise Carlson, a doctoral student at the University of Central Florida, focused on a slightly more taboo topic – toilets. Her piece helps kids learn how a toilet works. Read How a Toilet Works >>


#10 The Science of Slime

If you’ve ever wondered how slime is made or the chemistry behind it, Jasmine Ma, a student at Middle College High School @ San Joaquin Delta College, has the answer. Her piece The Science of Slime helps kids learn more about the sticky substance.

#9 Between Sand and Sea

Dianne Mercado’s informational piece about the intertidal zone helps students learn about the different seasons found there. Dianne is a student at the University of Central Florida.
Learn more about the intertidal zone >>

#8 The Wood that Sings

Have you ever wanted to play the marimba? High school senior Molly Goins shares valuable information about the beautiful percussion instrument in her short piece.
Discover what it is>>

Boy having bruises on his leg illustration

#7 What Happens When You Get a Scrape?

When you get a cut or a scrape, your body goes through a special process to help it heal. Amber Katharine Voightschild, a high school sophomore and homeschool student, describes the process in her informational text.
Find out how your body responds >>

#6 The Appalachian Creation

Graduate student Jenn Sisko wrote an informational article about the rocks that make up the Appalachian Mountain chain. Jenn attends Hamline University.
Discover how the mountain range formed >>

#5 Our First Thanksgiving

Lauren Collins, a recent high school graduate, and soon-to-be freshman at William Woods University wrote a piece about the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of one of the attendees, a native American girl.
Read more about the event >>

#4 Farmer Flynn and His Barnyard Companions

Farmer Flynn and his barnyard friends help kids learn more about where their food comes from and share tips for healthy eating in a short piece by Haein Kim, sophomore at Duke University.
Find out how what you eat makes your body healthier >>

#3 Uffo Goes to the North Pole Depositphotos_9260203_s-2019

As the polar ice cap begins to melt, the life of a polar bear becomes more difficult. Juan Restrepo, a student at Lees-McRae College, wrote a short story about a young polar bear named Uffo and his struggle to survive.
Learn more about Uffo and his mother >>

#2 Understanding the Human Heart

How much do you know about the human heart? Courtney Varela, a student at Swansboro High School, knows a lot and she put her knowledge into a creative short story for kids. After reading the story, kids will be able to know more about their own hearts too.
Discover more about the human heart >>


First Place Ribbon

#1 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Although the title sounds like a song from The Sound of Music, this short informational piece by Lucy Henneker actually shares information about a famous mathematician, Maria Gaetana Agnesi. Lucy is an incoming freshman at Wheaton College.
Read the winning piece >>

Watch for more details about the 2010 Scholarship and start preparing your stories now! Don’t forget to check out 2017’s winner and finalists and the winning pieces from 2018 too.

Announcing the 2018 Scholarship Finalists

2018 Scholarship FinalistsThis year, the Scholarship received over 600 entries, with students from all over the United States and Canada submitting stories, poems, and informational articles on topics such as being kind to others, learning about the human digestion system, understanding people with disabilities. We would like to commend all of our applicants for a job well done. After reading all of the entries, we have chosen the finalists and winner of this year’s scholarship. All of the finalists’ pieces will be published on and the winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.

Honorable Mention

The following pieces weren’t named as finalists or the ultimate winner, but we felt they deserved recognition because they had something special to offer.

Megan Rice, a student from Lyman Memorial High School, penned a creative poem about the kingdom of Aspenkranze and a little girl that brought some happiness back to the king through dance.

Jon Kramer, a graduate of North Olmstead High School and incoming freshman at the University of Findlay submitted an intriguing piece about blinking.

Spina BifidaIn addition to the pieces above, some authors chose to focus on bringing attention and fostering understanding when it comes to interacting with children with special needs.

Piglet Max by Maddie Whittemore, an IB student from Southeast High school, tells the story of a little pig with autism.

My Friend Nicky by Olivia Placzek, a graduate of the Academy for Classical Education in Macon, Georgia, shares one child’s thoughts about a friend who has autism.

Victor’s New Friend by Nikki Foy, a student at ECU, tells the story of a kid who makes friends with a classmate who has spina bifida.


#10 Mr. Owl and the Pelican Express

Jacob Grube, a high school senior, submitted a poem about an owl who aspires to make deliveries. The only problem? It’s a job that is typically performed by pelicans. Read more…

#9 Shy Sarah

Daniella Jenkins wrote a short story about a girl who goes from being shy to being self-assured. Her piece, particularly the poem at the end, can inspire kids to have confidence in themselves. Daniella is a student at Loyola University in New Orleans. Read more about Shy Sarah.

#8 Why I Don’t Look Like Mommy

In a short story by Lexus Hendrix, a student at the University of Central Florida, a little girl shares her feelings about her looks and the comments others make because she does not look like her mother. Even though they don’t look alike, she and her mommy do have something in common. Discover what it is!

#7 Being a Digital Citizen

In Natasha Moe’s short story, the main character learns an important lesson about being wise when posting on social media. It’s a great story to share with pre-teens or teens. Natasha is a graduate of Bloomington Senior High and an incoming freshman at Purdue University. Learn some tips for being kind online.
Digestive System

#6 Something to Chew On

Students are introduced to the process of digestion through a poem written by Kendall Lowe, a rising high school senior. Digestion isn’t pretty, but it is a pretty interesting process. Find out what happens!

#5 The Perks of Winter Days

Noah Snitzer’s submission featured a fictional account of dog sledding during a Canadian winter. The main character starts off reluctant to participate, but discovers a new appreciation for the work of his father. Read more.

#4 A Win for Nana

An apple pie is the basis for the short story written by Kennedy Webb, a student at the Ohio University Zanesville campus. Will Jamie’s pie in honor her nana take top prize at the county fair? Read the story to find out!

#3 A Big Difference

Grad student Ashley Teztlaff submitted a short story about a girl who raised money to build a well for children who did not have access to clean water. Ashley’s story highlights the ability kids have to make a difference. Learn more about it.

#2 You Are Unique

Kyle Mason, a student at The University of Tennessee, wrote a piece designed to help students learn more about their DNA makeup. After reading his piece, students will know that they truly are unique. Kyle even wrote his own questions to accompany the piece! Discover how unique you are!


First Place Ribbon

#1 A Night in the Life of a Desert Tarantula

This year’s winner is Tatiana Rusev, a junior at Arizona State University. Perhaps inspired by the Arizona Desert Tarantula, Tatiana wrote a creative and informative piece entitled A Night in the Life of a Desert Tarantula. Through her story, kids can learn more about the arachnid that is commonly found in the Arizona desert. Find out more.

Watch for more details about the 2019 Scholarship and start preparing your stories now! Don’t forget to check out 2017’s winner and finalists too.

Announcing the Scholarship Finalists

Help Teaching Scholarship Finalists This year, offered its first scholarship opportunity to students around the United States. Aspiring writers in high school and college were invited to submit an informational article or short story for kids. After reviewing hundreds of entries, the field was narrowed down to ten finalists. The pieces submitted by the finalists deal with topics ranging from fitting in and learning life lessons to understanding where money comes from. Read on to discover more about the finalists.

#10: You Are What You Eat by Emma Granger

This poem, written by Emma Granger, a student at the University of Manitoba, introduces kids to the important components of food and how they work in their bodies. Kids will learn the difference between fats, lipids, proteins, among others and discover why they truly are what they eat. We chose this poem as a finalist because it offers a unique and engaging format and also contains a lot of information for kids. Read the Full Story»

#9: A Trip to Planet Brain: Journey to the Lobes by Kendall Nicely

Kendall Nicely, who will be attending Sweet Briar College in the fall, introduces kids to the parts of the brain through her short informational article. Kids can learn about each of the four lobes of the brain and, through the questions, identify key characteristics of those lobes. We chose this piece as a finalist because the information is presented in a kid-friendly, easy-to-follow format. Read the Full Story»

#8: What Makes a Genius? by Natalie Boubion

Have you ever wondered what makes a genius? Natalie Boubion, a student at UC Davis, answers the question in her short, informational article. People like Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein are considered geniuses, but how did they earn that title. We chose this article as a finalist because it presents a thoughtful discussion related to an interesting question. Read the Full Story»

#7: Money Supply: Its Creation and Destruction by Kaitlynn Gov

Another UC Davis student, Kaitlynn Gov, helps kids understand Money Supply through her short informational article. Not only can kids learn where money comes from, but they can gain an understanding of the importance of the money supply. We chose this article as a finalist because, in addition to the helpful information, the article contains key vocabulary words related to the economy. Those words are written in bold throughout the article and included in a word bank at the end of the article. Read the Full Story»

#6: A Tiger’s Life by Shae Sager

Shae Sager, a junior at Montana State University – Bozeman, wrote a short story written from the point of view of a tiger at two key stages in its life. Kids can read about the playful tiger cub, and then see how the tiger has changed by the end of this life. We chose this story as a finalist because of its unique perspective and the fact that it can be used as a lesson in comparison and contrast. Read the Full Story»

#5: Rainy Dog Saturday by Erin Conlon

Erin Conlon is a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Animation. Her story, Rainy Dog Saturday, tells the story of an eight-year-old boy who cannot find anything fun to do on a rainy day. However, when he hears a sound at the door, his day starts to become a little more interesting. We chose this story as a finalist because it is a cute story for kids that offers an element of surprise. Read the Full Story»

#4: The Great Flower Competition by Ella Commerce

Ella Commerce recently graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego, California, and will be attending California Polytechnic Institute in the Fall. Her short story, The Great Flower Competition, tells the story of two brothers whose father issues them a challenge. The boy who can present him with the most flowers at the end of a month will win the competition. We chose this story as a finalist because it helps kids learn an important lesson. Read the Full Story»

#3: Why Wolves Howl at the Moon by Emily Edmonds

Why Wolves Howl at the Moon is a short story by Emily Edmonds, a student a North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina. In this story, Mama Wolf shares with her wolf cubs the story of why wolves howl at the moon. We chose this story as a finalist because it has the feel of a classic myth and tells a tale that many kids will find interesting. Read the Full Story»

#2: Little Lost Fish by Gina Gugliotta

Gina Gugliotta is a Health Sciences student at The Ohio State University. Her work as a swim instructor inspired her to write a poem to help children remember to stay safe around a pool. We chose this poem as a finalist because of its rhyme scheme and the creative way it teaches an important lesson to kids. Read the Full Story»

And the winner of the first scholarship is…

#1 WINNER!: Little Elephant Tries to Fit In by Christine McLauchlan

Little Elephant Tries to Fit In, written by Christine McLauchlan, an Early Education major at New Brunswick Community College. tells the story of an elephant who has just moved to a new town and is facing his first day at a new school. We chose this story as the winner of the scholarship competition because it deals with emotions that many kids can relate to and it helps kids understand that it’s okay to be different. Aside from the lessons the story teaches, we feel like Little Elephant Tries to Fit In is a cute story that will make a fun read-aloud in the classroom. Read the Full Story»

In addition to these passages from our scholarship finalists, check out the other informational stories and reading passages we have to offer.

Think you have a great story for the scholarship contest or know students who like to participate? Help spread the word about this scholarship by posting the information and a link to our scholarship page on your school or organization’s website.

Teaching Resources

Most Popular Posts

Recent Posts

ELA & Reading – Most Popular

STEM – Most Popular

Social Studies – Most Popular