Students at St. Brigid of Kildare School in Dublin kicked off Catholic Schools Week by celebrating a literary award.

Students at St. Brigid of Kildare School in Dublin kicked off Catholic Schools Week by celebrating a literary award.

After months of reading and discussing, fifth- and sixth-graders at St. Brigid watched the announcement of the Newbery Medal on Monday and celebrated the winner with a party.

Students got involved with the Newbery Medal last spring when Floyd Dickman, a 2009 Newbery committee member, issued an invitation for students to read and review Newbery nominees.

The Newbery Medal is given by the American Library Association and is the highest award for children's literature. One Newbery medal is issued each year. The winner this year was "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman.

St. Brigid students were given a summer reading list prepared by Dickman and when school began in the fall, they began studying the award and past winners.

Fifth- and sixth-graders also chose 2009 nominees to read, discuss in small groups and critique. During a November visit with Dickman, students argued for books they thought should receive the award.

"During Mr. Dickman's visit, he asked for students' opinions about the nominated books and met with small groups of students to get more specific reactions to their favorites," a project summary said.

Students watched the announcement of the Newbery Medal winner Monday and dressed up as their favorite characters. Fifth- and sixth-graders also visited lower grade levels to talk about the Newbery Medal and the nominees.

On Tuesday, the students celebrated Catholic Schools Week with "Everyone's a Saint Day." Wednesday was "Raise a Flag" day, Thursday was vocation visit day and on Friday the school planned to celebrate exceptional teachers and volunteers.