Inventing Elliot Essay Scholarships

Can you imagine a sandwich worth $25,000? Eight year old Margalit from North Raleigh did just that. Her Wushu chicken tacos won her $25k in Jif’s Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest.

Margalit recently traveled to New York to compete against four other finalists in a cook-off. Her competition included a “BLT PB Sweet Style” sandwich, a version of BBQ chicken and waffles, a peanut-butter rolled up sandwich served on pumpkin waffles and a pita style sandwich filled with curried, mango-chutney chicken. The one thing all these unique recipes have in common – peanut butter. According to the official contest rules each recipe submitted had to contain, and clearly state in the ingredients, at least two tablespoons of Jif peanut butter of any variety (Creamy, Crunchy, Honey, etc.). The four remaining finalists were awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

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The contest, open to legal residents of the U.S. age 6-12, started in 2003 and has since had eight confirmed winners. To see the official contest rules and list of past winners and their winning sandwiches visit http://promotions.jif.com.

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Gardner serves up a suspenseful tale of a bullying victim who manages a transformation, not into safety, but into the kingdom of the bullies. At his last school Elliot was continuously threatened and beaten, and headed now into a new school, decides to do whatever he can to escape. His fear is palpable from the initial scene where he’s beaten up and continues as he watches fellow victims in the new school succumb to the dominant group, the Guardians, as well as to other bullies—teachers and students. At home, Elliot’s father is locked into an incapacitating depression, and his mother struggles with two menial jobs to support them. At school, Elliot’s fear guides him throughout each day, until he makes all the correct moves to be invited to join the organized and hidden power mongers called the Guardians. Elliot’s character changes as the story develops, giving readers the needed clues, amid nail-biting suspense, to the culminating event in the final chapter. References throughout to Orwell’s 1984 add depth and keep readers thinking of the principles at stake when those with power abuse it. (Fiction. YA)

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