Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The 17th Annual Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages' Essay Contest


February 28, 2020

The 17th Annual Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages’ Essay Contest was a huge success. We received 125 essays from area 4th and 5th graders and 10 one-week scholarships have been awarded. They will be honored in awards ceremony at Skogfjorden, the Norwegian Language Village, on Sunday, March 15th. The ceremony is attended by the winners, their families, their friends, their teachers, donors, volunteers to the program, and staff of Concordia Language Villages.

The winning essay writers receiving scholarships for the summer of 2020 are:

• Abigail Wilkowski, German, Gene Dillon Elementary

• Liliana Hill, Norwegian, Gene Dillon Elementary

• Zivah Zeloro, Norwegian, Gene Dillon Elementary

• Angela Leach, Spanish, Kelliher Elementary

• Andie Oquist, Korean, Cass Lake-Bena Elementary

• Caroline Jones, Spanish, Cass Lake-Bena Elementary

• Kellen Knutson, Norwegian, St Philips Elementary

• Michael Potter, German, Gene Dillon Elementary

• Thane Gunderson, German, Gene Dillon Elementary

• Soren Schermerhorn, Russian, Gene Dillon Elementary

The funding for these scholarships came from a number of local sponsors, including the generous support of Paul Bunyan Telephone Communications, First National Bank Bemidji, Bemidji Noon Rotary Club, Beltrami Electric, Super 8 Hotel, Wayne and Caroline Dondelinger, Naylor Heating and Refrigeration, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Bemidji, Big River Scoop, Cal and Pat Rice, an IBM match, and numerous individual donors.

Each of these students wrote an excellent 100-150 word essay on the topic “Why I’d like to learn _______________ language at Concordia Language Villages”. Some just want to learn the language and others want to experience the culture and food of a different country or the country of their ancestors. The annual essay contest solicits essays from many area schools as well as from home-schooled students.

The Bemidji Area Friends of Concordia Language Villages was formed in October of 2002 to build connections between Concordia Language Villages and the Bemidji community and surrounding region. Since then, the Friends have coordinated 17 essay contests awarding a total of 170 week-long scholarships for area students to attend a camp. Additional funds were raised through the annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner held last October. Attendees enjoyed an authentic Norwegian banquet, a hardanger fiddle performance by a traditional Norwegian musician, Melanie Hanson, as well as Norwegian immigrant folk songs by George Nelson.

The mission of Concordia Language Villages is to inspire courageous global citizens. It has long been a model of innovative programming in immersion education and offers one-, two- and four-week summer sessions — the last being the equivalent of a full year of high school language instruction — in one of 15 languages offered: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Established in 1961, the Language Villages annually serves 10,000+ people, of all ages and from all 50 of the United States and many other countries. The summer program offers sessions for 7-18 year-olds, adults, and families. Concordia also offers local day camps, this summer in Arabic, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Swiss and Swedish for children ages 6-11 and during the school year programs are offered for school groups, adults, families and U.S. military groups.

For more information, please call 800-222-4750 or visit



Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019