April 2, 2007

Howard Lake girl gets 365 books with winning haiku

Fifth grader Bethany Kozitka wins a year’s worth of books

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

A creative fifth grade girl sat down and composed a haiku on her Scholastic book order form.

Hers would be one of 25 winning entries chosen from 10,737 entries that were submitted from across the country.

That girl is Bethany Kozitka of Howard Lake, a fifth grade student at St. James Lutheran School in Howard Lake.

Kozitka and the other winning poets will each receive a predetermined collection of 365 books.

A haiku is a poem with only 17 syllables. Kozitka had learned about haikus from her teacher, Lisa Kotila, shortly before completing her book order form.

The book order and the haiku entry were optional activities.

Kozitka’s winning haiku is as follows,

“Hear the calf mooing,

I lead her around the ring,

Down at the State Fair.”

“I was pretty excited when I heard I won. The UPS people brought the books in humongous boxes. There’s 50 per box and I’ve gotten six boxes so far,” Kozitka said.

“My grandparents (Melvin and Ardis Kottke) have cattle and my whole family shows them at the Wright County Fair. My sister, Amy, has shown them at the State Fair and hopefully, I will when I’m old enough,” Kozitka said.

She explained that the county fair and the state fair are very much-anticipated events for her and her family. If everything goes as planned, Kozitka will be showing her Holstein cow, Bethlehem, at this year’s county fair.

In fact, her sister, Amy, was a Wright County dairy princess two years ago, which is how she and her sister started working at the Moo Booth at the Minnesota State Fair.

“We hand out trivia cards to people. They have to answer questions, which they can find the answers to if they look around the Moo Booth, and then they get a bracelet,” Kozitka said.

Kozitka explained that she loves history and especially loves the history books that she has received so far, along with the entire set of The Chronicles of Narnia and her Webster’s Dictionary.

“The first book my dad read (from her new set of books) was ‘The Stinky Cat in My Backpack.’ Now, he’s reading ‘The Best School Year Ever,’” she said.

“I just can’t wait until this summer, when my nephew gets his tree house. We’re going to pretend we’re spy kids and we’re going to use this Crime Busters book,” Kozitka said.

“And I just can’t wait until the rest of the books come,” she exclaimed.

So far, Kozitka has received 300 of the promised 365 Scholastic books.

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