U.K.’s Royal Mail recently announced the winners of its Young Letter Writer of the Year competition, which aims to engage children in letter writing and help improve overall literacy.
The competition posed the question, “What is your dream job?” to U.K. children aged four to 14. After receiving nearly 100,000 entries, the judging panel – which included Royal Mail Group CEO Moya Greene; popular TV personality Helen Skelton; former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen; and Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas – announced the winners were nine-year-old Iris Ferrar, of London, and 11-year-old Amelia Cunliffe, of Greater Manchester. They each received £1000 in vouchers and £1000 for their respective schools during Skelton’s presentation of the awards.
“Congratulations to Amelia and Iris. I loved both their winning letters,” said Skelton. “Their creativity and standard of grammar was impressive; I had so much fun reading all of the final entries. I’m sure they will both go on to do great things in whatever dream jobs they choose.”
Iris wrote to the “Extraordinary and Exotic Zoo,” describing why she would be the ideal candidate for her dream job as an “Animal Language Decoder.” She wrote how she “could converse with the animal specified and then tell you exactly what they need.”
In addition, Iris said she would be “perfect for the job of language decoder” as she was “extremely committed and happy to have her lodgings in the animal enclosures, although she would have to tame the crocodiles first!”
Amelia wrote to the “Department of Space Cleanliness,” applying for the position of “Moon Cleaner.” In her creative and imaginative letter, she wrote she was currently working as “head of equipment cleaning for NASA in Washington DC.” She also states she “loves cleaning” and securing the role of moon cleaner would “create brighter streets at night, meaning less energy consumption.”
Moya Greene, Royal Mail Group CEO, said nothing “packs an emotional punch” like a letter.
“I want to personally thank all our letter writers for giving us real insight into not only the amazing creativity, humour and originality of young people across the UK, but also their ambition,” she said. “In recent months, we have heard from aspiring sportspeople, architects, biotechnology experts, lifeboat workers, chocolate tasters and of course animal language decoders and moon cleaners. These young people have the world at their feet, and I have no doubt from the quality of their letters that many of them will go on to make their career ambitions a reality.”