Have you ever wondered what happened to Amelia Earhart? You might want to ask Joe De Costa, a fourth grader at Wallace Elementary. He seems to have some ideas on the subject.


Joe recently had a story titled  "The Time I Hitched a Ride With Amelia Earhart on Her Round-the-World Flight in 1937Ó published in ÒThe Elementary School Writer,Ó a national publication.


"I really like airplanes, and since the story was supposed to be about a sport, I picked flying," Joe says.


Joe’s other interests include playing soccer with the Lake Highlands Soccer AssociationÕs Tornadoes,  and playing violin.


Joe’s school library subscribes to The Elementary School Writer, a monthly newspaper.  "Our entire school, especially the fourth grade, is focused on writing," says teacher Carolyn Matthews, "and having this publication of students’ writings is kind of an inspiration to encourage them."


Matthews says she has sent in many of her students’ works to the newspaper, but Joe’s is the first to be published. 


"Everybody in the class was surprised when we opened our newspapers in December and one of the students spotted Joe’s story," she says.


The 10-year-old has won other recognition for his writing. His entry in the Wallace PTA Reflections contest won a first-place ribbon, and won again at the RISD Council level.  He is still waiting to hear if the entry will go on to the state competition.


Encouraged by the results of his efforts, Joe is working on a 500-word story for a national writing contest.  "You have to write about technology," he explains, "so my story is about the invention of the wheel.  I’m interested in that because of the wheels of airplanes."


Writing is Joe’s favorite subject in school. But as much as he enjoys writing, he views it only as a hobby, not as a career. "I want to be a pilot and a professional soccer player," he says.


Any elementary student whose school subscribes to ÒThe Elementary School WriterÓ may enter a submission.  Copies are usually available through school libraries.  For more information, writeat writer@uslink.net.


Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.