The After School Arts Program in Washington, which serves northwestern Connecticut, recently held its 11th annual Celebration of Young Writers.

Guests were greeted by blue skies and bellinis as they entered the silent auction and cocktail party.

This year’s writers included 10 children from Litchfield, New Haven and Fairfield counties: Francesca Vattuone, Josephina Drago, Charlie Brodhead, Rebecca Racz, Madison Stampp, Dylan Toll, Emily Prezioso, Halena Weymouth, Evan Woerner and Daniel Saed.

Each student read his or her piece on stage to an audience of more than 300.

The event was hosted by Hollywood actor and activist Jonathan Del Arco, who is best known as Dr. Morales in the cable hit series “Major Crimes” on TNT that he originated in the critically acclaimed show “The Closer.”

Del Arco also appeared in major films, but he earned cult status among Star Trek fans worldwide with his portrayal of the lovable Hugh Borg on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

The evening concluded with a special presentation of the Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which honors the spirit of Frank McCourt, a teacher for more than 30 years before gaining distinction with his Pulitzer-Prize winning memoir “Angela’s Ashes” which was followed by “Tis” and “Teacher Man.”

This year’s Celebration of Young Writers honoree, Ellen McCourt, recognized Rena Winton of Nonnewaug High School.

To read the selected pieces from ASAP’s young writers, visit