Local students have the opportunity to win a school visit from Ann Malaspina, author of “Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper” on Friday, Oct. 12, by entering a writing contest sponsored by the Missourian In Education program.

The deadline to enter is Wednesday, Sept. 26.

“Touch the Sky” is an inspirational children’s book about the first African American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games.

Malaspina, will be in Washington Saturday, Oct. 13, to share her inspirational story about Coachman at the annual Run to Read, organized by The Missourian and the Four Rivers Area Family YMCA.

Children in kindergarten through high school are invited to submit a letter to Coachman, who turns 90 in November.

Students should use the line from Malaspina’s book, “But a dream is a beginning and as Alice grew older, her dream was to soar,” to tell Coachman why her story is inspiring and share their own dreams and aspirations.

Letters may be handwritten or typed and children may include handdrawn pictures.

To enter, submit letters to “Alice Coachman Dreams to Soar Contest,” Missourian In Education, P.O. Box 336, Washington, MO 63090. Letters may be hand-delivered to any Missourian office, but should be labeled for the contest.

The winner of Malaspina’s school author presentation will be selected from a random drawing from all letters received on or before 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26.

The drawing will be held during the Book Buzz birthday celebration for Newsbee, “10 Years — 10,000 Books,” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Washington Public Library. The public is invited to this event.

For more information, contact Chris Stuckenschneider at cstucky@me.com or 636-239-7272.