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Through the Eyes of a Golf Ball
By Jake Daniel

Every day there are things we take for granted. Have we ever thought what it would be like from their perspective? Through the eyes of a golf ball, it goes a little something like this:

Every single day I do the same exact thing. All I do is sit in a box with two other golf balls, Albert and Gerald. We talk about stuff like the day someone will buy us and what we think the world really looks like. But one day, everything we had talked about came true. Ding. I heard the bell go off that signals someone coming through the door. He walked over and peered down at all the golf balls. I felt a little movement, and next thing I knew he had picked me and my friends up and was taking us to the register. We kept bouncing and turning in the box until finally the top opened. He pulled each one of us out one by one and examined each of us. Then he put us down and our life journey began.

He took us to this little white vehicle that Albert told me was called a golf cart. We were put into a cup holder and then the golf cart started to move. "This day couldn't get any better", I thought to myself. I didn't even know what people like me are used for, but in a few minutes I was going to find out. My blood got as hot as a pot of boiling water. The man picked me up and put Gerald in his pocket. He put me on something that Gerald said was a tee and started swinging this long stick with a giant metal part on the bottom. I was told it was called a golf club. He stepped up closer to me and pulled it back as if he was going to hit me. Then I realized that that was exactly what he was going to do. I tried to move but since I have no legs I couldn't. I closed my eyes and took it like a man. Slam! I went flying through the air. With a sudden thud, I slammed into the grass and made a giant dent in the ground. "I'm alive!" I thought. Thank goodness that's over. Then, I saw a white vehicle come into sight. It was the golf cart, and I knew that soon I would once again be soaring in the air.

The man got out and this time pulled out a different looking golf club. Again, he pulled back and hit me as hard as he could. "Why do you hate me?" I thought. But then a new feeling came across me. It was joy. Flying through the air was actually kind of fun. Maybe this is what I was meant to do. "Weeee," I screamed. Then I found myself back on the ground. The same routine happened again, but this time I hit a much harder ground. It was dark black instead of green. Giant vehicles kept driving by, acting like they were going to hit me. "What happened," I thought. I looked back and saw that I had flown right over the fence that separated the course from the street. Finally I came to a stop on the side of the road right next to a giant building. The sign said "Santa Barbra Middle School." A loud bell rung out and next thing I knew, people were rushing out of the building. One person stopped and picked me up. He stared at me for a while and then put me in his pocket. I sat in deep darkness for about fifteen minutes, and then I was taken out of his pocket again. I looked around and found that I was in the same room that I was in when the first man bought me. I knew I was about to be smacked around once again.

He pulled out a golf club, much like the one the first man had, and hit me as hard as he could. The pleasure of the wind slamming against me was fantastic. This time when I landed, a huge puff of sand flew up around me. "This must be my bed for the night," I thought. I closed my eyes and fell asleep right away because of the exhausting day I had just experienced. I awoke instantly and found myself whizzing through the wind. "What a rude awakening," I mumbled. I landed on an area of grass that was much shorter than the one I landed on earlier. I rolled a little ways and dropped right into a little hole in the ground. "Oh no! I'm trapped!" I thought. The boy ran up to me with the biggest grin on his face and pulled me out of the hole. Did I do something that made him happy? He put me into a pocket in his golf bag with a bunch of other golf balls. He picked up the bag and put it on his back. He rode away on his bike, and put me on a shelf next to a baseball and a football when he got home. The football's name was Greg, and he told me that the boy scored his first touchdown with him. The baseball's name was James, and he said the boy hit his first homerun with him. "Well then what's so special about me?" I asked. From the next room, I could here the boy say, "Hey mom, I got my very first birdie today with this awesome new golf ball I found outside school." I knew the boy was talking about me.

"Through the Eyes of a Golf Ball" By Jake Daniel | StoryMakers 2012 | Rocky Mountain PBS
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2013 StoryMakers competition a great success!

This year we received more than 730 entries across 88 cities in Colorado.
We were blown away by the talent! This state is home to some truly gifted authors.

Congratulations to our winners and finalists of the 2013 StoryMakers writing contest!

6th grade finalists

Olivia Janicek, Denver – 1st place
Maxwell Wilderson, Fort Morgan – 2nd place
Grace Patrick, Greeley – 3rd place
Ezequiel Meraz, Fort Lupton
Aileen Le, Arvada
Rebecca Chapman, Denver
Joseph Quintana, Highlands Ranch
Caitlin Kincaid, Colorado Springs

7th grade finalists

Rachel Foote, Longmont – 1st place
Edie Tavel, Denver – 2nd place
Colin Cannici, Lakewood – 3rd place
Andrew Swanback, Arvada
Ella Beringer, Castle Rock
Melody Lipke, Alamosa
Benny Khouri, Fort Collins
Emma Risdon, Longmont

8th grade finalists

Mia Nelson, Denver – 1st place
Roger Nakagawa, Denver – 2nd place
Kendal McMaster, Denver – 3rd place
Nadia Stoker, Broomfield
Elliott Wyatt, Denver
Molly Worford, Denver
Gabriella Tuell, Broomfield
Aileen Ma, Longmont

These 3 winners and 5 runners-up per grade received:

  • Digital storytelling workshop and tour of our television studios
  • Stories published on our website
  • Awesome prizes, like Kindle Fires
  • Awards luncheon for students and families featuring keynote speaker, local author and radio personality Dom TestaCentury Link.png

StoryMakers At a Glance:

  • Each year, Rocky Mountain PBS offers this unique writing contest to middle school students statewide. We are in our seventh year!
  • The contest is sponsored by CenturyLink, a longtime supporter of the program who helped conceive of the idea back in 2007 with the education department at Rocky Mountain PBS and has helped to make it possible ever since
  • Open to students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades in Colorado. Entries are judged on originality, creative expression and storytelling
  • Our three winners – one in each grade – were selected out of more than 700 applicants across the state
  • Winners and finalists met in December for a digital storytelling workshop and seminar with Rocky Mountain PBS’ executive director of I-News, Laura Frank, on the value of investigative journalism, and were celebrated at a luncheon on January 4th featuring keynote speaker and bestselling author, Dom Testa.
  • Stories were creative and powerful -- so extraordinary that the 45 volunteer judges often stopped to marvel “Wait, how old is this writer?”
  • Contest picks up again in the summer 2014 with an October submission deadline.

2013 StoryMakers Winners Featured on TV

Watch a segment of Colorado's Best Kids featuring our 2013 StoryMakers winners (video below):

2012 StoryMakers Winners and Finalists

StoryMakers Writing Contest

The 2012 Winners and Finalists are:

6th Grade
1st - Christian Olsen, "Without A Home" - Littleton, Goddard Middle School
2nd - Lydia MacRavey, "Little Bear's Arrow" - Centennial, Home Schooled
3rd - Elizabeth Blackmun, "Lady of the Lake" - Denver, Denver School of the Arts

Chloe Applegate, "Rainin's River" - Denver, Denver School of the Arts
Ella Beringer, "The Chase" - Castle Rock, Soaring Hawk
Ashlyn Kofford, "The Life Necklace" - Longmont, Westview Middle School
Drew Sims, "A Little Help" - La Junta, La Junta Intermediate School
William Underhill, "Bernard" - Denver, Denver School of the Arts

7th Grade
1st - Annie Lell, "Blue Moon" - Arvada, Oberon Middle School
2nd - Mia Nelson, "Deaf Prayers"
 - Denver, Denver School of the Arts
3rd - Jake Daniel, "Through the Eyes of a Golf Ball"
 - Grand Junction, Holy Family Catholic School


Nash Marez, "Adventure to Milkdud" - Grand Junction, Holy Family Catholic School 
Gillian Palazzini, 
"Through the Eyes of the Insane" - Merino, Home Schooled 
Clarice Reiner, 
"The Song of a Second" - Arvada, Oberon Middle School 
Britney Sarazen, "
Bullied to Bully" - Fort Lupton, Quest Academy 
Sydney Taylor,
 "Xanthe Soto, Girl Genius: Wind Power" - Denver, Homeschooled

8th Grade
1st - Erin Mallory, "Tricking the Sheep" - Windsor, Saint Joseph's Catholic School
2nd - McKinley Mueller, "Seven Days 'Til Heaven" - Ridgway, Ridgway Secondary School
3rd - Sydney Lewark, "Flying" - Denver, Denver Waldorf School

Kinsey Brashears, "Elena Smith" - Fort Morgan, Fort Morgan Middle School
Torryn Elliot
, "The Adventures of Cedric" - Granby, East Grand Middle School
Abigail Weeks
, "Simplicity" - Centennial, West Middle School
Claire Wineman
, "The Conversion" - Denver, Denver School of the Arts
Margaux Woellner
, "The Maligned Hedgehog" - Englewood, West Middle School

Parent Testimonial

"I wanted to thank you for the Rocky Mountain PBS StoryMakers program. My daughter took part in the competition and was a runner up for the 8th grade group. The whole process was so thrilling for her to be part of. When we were at the studio for the celebration in January, she told us she felt like a movie star. She loved learning to record her story and download illustrations, but most of all I think she loved the fact that so many people were involved in the whole process, and that most were involved through volunteering. 

She was so inspired... Our children need to feel important in order to succeed, and every small step counts. This support needs to be more than just parents and teachers. When our children see other adults and important people involved in their futures, it paints a bigger picture for them. Thank you for painting part of this bigger picture." 

-The Bretts, Eaton, Co.

Rocky Mountain PBS and CenturyLink encourage teenagers to keep reading and writing.  

Thanks to everyone submitting a story and special thanks to our major sponsor, CenturyLink.

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