Six Lowcountry students are among 70 fifth-graders and 68 eighth-graders statewide who are being honored as this year's district winners in the State Superintendent's Writing Award program.

Local fifth-grade winners are Andrew Parnow in Berkeley County, Claire Nelson in Charleston County and Meredith Harley in Dorchester District 2.

Local eighth-grade winners are Shelton Simmons in Berkeley County, Arghya Samantaray in Charleston County and Holly Potry in Dorchester District 2.

The purpose of the superintendent's award program is to support the teaching of the state's academic standards and to provide fifth- and eighth-grade students with opportunities to express themselves through the writing process.

District winners were selected from class and school winners by a panel of readers; their writing assignments focused on environmental issues.

Essays were judged on content and development, organization, vocabulary and phrasing, and on the writer's command of grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling.

District winners received a plaque at a recent awards ceremony.