A 9-year-old Ruffner Elementary School student is headed to a three-day Space Camp experience after winning an essay contest sponsored by the Kanawha County Public Library.
Elliott Blackwood's essay, "Space Camp: The First Frontier," was selected by a team of judges from 23 essays submitted during the library's summer reading clubs.
In it he writes, "If I win, the first thing I want to do is get in the zero gravity machine because it sounds like a lot of fun. I also would like to meet an astronaut."
Space Camp, which takes place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., is designed for children 7 to 14.
Elliot's trip was donated by Anne Ray Silbernagel as part of the Library Foundation's A Tisket, A Tasket basket auction in April. Her father, John Ray, purchased the basket at the auction and in turn donated it to the library to use as a prize for its summer reading program.
Four runners-up, Adrienne Powell, Ahmed Mustafa, Benjamin Slater and Kamme Hinamon, each will receive an autographed copy of Homer Hickam's new novel for young adults, "Crater."