Putting an end to child abuse is a mission for Crossroads Elementary School fourth grade student Austin Hibbard.
His powerful story, Stop Child Abuse Forever, garnered a Teacher’s Choice Award in the primary intermediate book level division during last spring’s Young Author ceremony.
“Austin is a very special young man and deserves the attention he is getting,” said Teresa Cox who has been his teacher since Austin started kindergarten.
Austin’s story hits home in the worst of ways but confidentiality prohibits releasing information. Suffice to say he was a victim and still carries the scars which makes him an expert in what he writes.
Austin has also received two letters of correspondence heralding his work. One is from Commissioner Adria Johnson, Department of Community Based Services for Kentucky. She oversees the department that is responsible for providing child protection and adoption services to children in Kentucky.
“Congratulations on winning the Young Author’s Teacher Choice Award in the intermediate category for Kentucky,” Johnson wrote. “I hope you will continue your literary work.”
The other letter is from the White House and signed by President Donald Trump.
“Thank you for your wonderful letter. Mrs. Trump and I are inspired by your kind words and the support we receive from thoughtful young students like you across America,” wrote the President. “Our Nation’s bright future relies upon your leadership, commitment and character. Do your best each day, enjoy learning and never, ever give up. Always remember you have family members, teachers and others who love you, who care about you, and who are there to help you realize your God-given talents. Think big and dream bigger. Together, we will create a better and brighter future for you and your family.”
Austin's essay - Stop Child Abuse Forever
A video of Austin reading his award-winning work was shown during the November meeting of the Bullitt County Board of Education. Austin was honored with a Certificate of Recognition.
Louisville media coverage of Austin Hibbard: