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RISMEDIA, March 4, 2009-Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, in collaboration with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced the three grand-prize winners in the fourth consecutive My Home: The American Dream contest. Fausto Rojas, a second-grade student from Downey, Calif., Alyssa Menko, a fourth-grade student from Kulpmont, Pa., and Emily Williams, a seventh-grade student from Vandalia, Ohio, will each be awarded $2,000 for their contest submissions. Also being recognized as the “classroom” winner for their exceptional group effort and receiving a $2,000 prize is Melissa Lanin’s first grade class from Lafayette Regional School in Franconia, N.H.; and additionally, the teachers of the three grand prize-winning students and the winning class will each receive a new digital video camera for their classrooms valued at approximately $600.

The Coldwell Banker® organization, together with Scholastic, invited students in kindergarten through eighth grade to share their personal stories- through images and words – about what makes their house a home. Over 2,000 submissions were judged on excellence in creativity, originality and overall quality. A grand prize winner was selected from each of the three grade categories (grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8) and seven runners-up were selected from the overall participant pool. This year’s runners-up, consisting of six individual students and one classroom, will each receive a $500 prize.

“We are moved by the creativity and thoughtfulness of the students who entered this year’s My Home: The American Dream contest,” said Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “I congratulate each of our winners and runners-up and thank them for providing inspiration for all of us at Coldwell Banker as we continue to help families achieve the ‘American Dream’ of home ownership.”

“Scholastic was delighted to work with Coldwell Banker for the fourth year of this successful contest,” says Jennifer Prescott, editorial director of custom media. “The quality and variety of entries impressed our team of judges, and participating students built valuable communication skills, both visual and verbal.”

Kindergarten to Grade Two
Fausto Rojas, Second Grade, Downey, Calif.
Fausto Rojas, a 7-year-old second grader from Rio Hondo School, won for his creative drawing of his family and house accompanied by an original poem comparing a “house” to a “home.”

Grades Three to Five
Alyssa Menko, Fourth Grade, Kulpmont, Pa.
Alyssa Menko, a 9-year-old fourth grader from Mt. Carmel School, won for her personalized scrapbook submission titled, “A Celebration of Home.” The album was an impressive compilation of photos and accessories brought to life by incorporating poems and words such as “family,” “love” and “memories.”

Grades Six to Eight
Emily Williams, Seventh Grade, Vandalia, Ohio
Emily Williams, a 12-year-old seventh grader from St. Christopher School, won for her “What H.O.M.E Really Is” album collage. The collage describes how “a home is nothing tangible” by giving personal meaning to each of the letters in the word home.

Melissa Lanin, First Grade, Franconia, N.H.
Melissa Lanin’s first grade class from Lafayette Regional School won in the “Classroom” category for its original DVD submissions. Each student wrote about what makes their house a home and provided illustrations. The essays and drawings were then brought to life in individual videos narrated by each of the children.

For more information on this year’s contest visit Video of the winning entries can be viewed on the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel,