APG child wins imcom essay contest
Military Family member Madeline Ransford writes a story in her notebook after class. Ransford recently won first place in her age group for an essay she wrote about life as a military child that she entered in the IMCOM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation contest called "Young Lives Big Stories;" a part of the April Month of the Military Child observance.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - An APG fifth-grade student recently won first place for her essay about life as a military child. The contest was called "Young Lives Big Stories" and was part of the Month of the Military Child celebration hosted by the Installation Management Command's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Madeline Ransford, a fifth grade student who attends Meadowvale Elementary School, said she originally wrote the essay while riding in her mother's car on the way to dance practice. A few days later, her mother, Nicole Mahern, found out about the IMCOM FMWR contest for children of Army Soldiers. For winning first place in the third to fifth grade category Madeline will receive a certificate and a Wii mini.

"When I read the email that said I won, I screamed," she said. "I was really happy. I like competing."

In the essay, she wrote about the challenges of frequent moves and staying in touch with friends. Despite the challenges, Ransford said she enjoys several aspects of being a military child, like seeing different parts of the world.

"I like being a military child, I have a hero in my Family I can always be proud of," she said.

She added that she tries to stay busy and usually writes in her notebook in her spare time. She particularly likes to write plays and fan fiction with her friends. In addition to writing, she also is very active in her school and community. She dances competitively and enjoys special projects with her school's STEM Club and Gifted and Talented program.

Earlier this year, Ransford won a $1,000 college scholarship from the Carson Scholars Fund - started by world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson - for an essay she wrote about a literacy community service project she did with the Girl Scouts. This is the second time that a Meadowvale Elementary School student has won the award.

"She is an excellent student, very creative," said Madeline's teacher, Ruth Orf. "It doesn't surprise me at all that she has won awards for her writing."

Ransford's mother expressed pride in her daughter. A special education paraprofessional with the school, Mahern said she tries to find learning opportunities for her daughter, inside and outside of the classroom.

"She is the type of kid that wants to be involved in everything," Mahern said.

Madeline is the daughter of Lt. Col. Shawn Ransford, of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command.

To view the entries of the contest winners, visit www.armymwr.com/momc-winning-entries.aspx .

Page last updated Tue June 10th, 2014 at 15:30