Category Archives: Other Events & Contests

Breaking Barriers Writing Contest

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The Breaking Barriers Essay Contest is a chance
for diverse students in grade 4–9 to share their
personal stories and show how they use Jackie Robinson’s
values to face their own barriers.
Contest Deadline: March 14, 2017

Read more about the contest here.

Reading Enrichment #26: Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest

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The Virginia Frank Memorial Writing contest is held each year in the spring to recognize the creative writing talent of our area students. This contest, sponsored by the Friends of Omaha Public Library, recognizes the top three winners from each grade. Each winner receives a cash prize and certificate, is recognized in a ceremony at the library on April 23, and has their story published on the library website. The school libraries of each winning student are also recognized with a matching cash prize.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be in 5th to 8th Grade, and live in Douglas, Sarpy, Washington, Dodge or Saunders County.
  • Students may be enrolled in public, private, parochial, or home school.
  • Essays must be typed and no longer than 750 words.
  • Include a cover page with the title of the story, writer’s name, address, zip code, phone number, current grade, and name of school.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • All entries become the property of Friends of Omaha Public Library (FOPL) and may be featured by Omaha Public Library on its website or social media
  • Entries must be original fiction featuring a character from a book you have enjoyed. Identify the book and author from which your character originated in the title or subtitle of your story.
  • Only one entry per contestant will be accepted.


  • First ($100), second ($50) and third place ($25)
  • Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners from each grade.
  • The school library of the winning students will be recognized with matching cash prizes.

Read the winning stories from the 2016 Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest

About Virginia Frank

The Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest began in 2003 and is named in honor of a longtime Friends of Omaha Public Library volunteer. Virginia Frank was a Central High and UNO graduate. She acquired a master’s degree from Brown University and taught English literature and creative writing at UNO for many years. Her passion for students and young people inspired everyone around her, and her enthusiasm encouraged many students to explore their creative writing talents. Frank volunteered thousands of hours with the Friends of OPL to help ensuring a bright future for our public libraries.

Do You Know a Hero Writing Contest

The Kansas Nebraska SW Iowa Region of the American Red Cross is celebrating 100 years in 2017.  Students in grades 5 to 8 are invited to write about their own “Heartland Hero” for a chance to win a classroom party.

Guidelines:  Use 8.5″ x 11″ lined paper or type your entry in Times Roman, size 12 font.  Your essay must be 400 words or less.  Each student must attach the cover page (linked below) to their essay.

Deadline:  Mail entries by Tuesday, December 20, 2016  to the address below.

American Red Cross ~ 2912 South 80th Avenue ~ Omaha, NE 68124

Click here for the cover page

Design a Happiness T-Shirt

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Design our t-shirt for the International Day of Happiness! Live Happy is preparing for the upcoming International Day of Happiness on Monday, March 20, 2017 .

The theme is “Happiness”

Draw how you share happiness and what makes you happy To help kick off the contest and bring the theme to life, Live Happy is calling for all kids 12 and under to submit a design for the #HappyActs T-shirt. All designs will be posted on our Facebook Page and the design with the most likes on our page will be considered for the 2017 #HappyActs T-shirt. All entries must be received by December 15, 2016.

For the entry form and more information click here.

Drop your EY coordinator an email if you plan to enter this contest.





Metro Omaha Reading Council Writing Contest


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The Metropolitan Reading Council (MRC) is now taking submissions for their 2016-17 writing contest.  Several Westside students have entered this contest in the past and won!  it’s a great way to get your writing out there for others to read!

This year’s contest runs from September 9-December 15.  All students grade k-12 are invited to participate.  Click below to find the writing prompt for your grade level.  Here’s a hint…It has something to do with robots! :)

K-3 Writing Prompt

4-6 Writing Prompt

7-12 Writing Prompt


Do Space Events

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We are so lucky to have Do Space® in Omaha!  Check out all the upcoming opportunities to learn, grow, explore and create!

September 27: Paper Circuits (Ages 9-11):

October 4: Coding Robots (Ages 9-11):

October 5: Coding with Chamomile (Ages 6-8):

Check out these opportunities and more at: