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Class act / An outstanding young Western New Yorker

Emma C. Reid knows what it's like to be the youngest in class, and it's not always a drawback.

"I was able to start kindergarten when I was only 4 years and 9 months old -- since I was born on the exact date for the cutoff of registration," explains Emma, now 11, from Depew.

Standard kindergarten testing showed this high-achieving "only child" to be at the level of about a 7-year-old, so she recalls, "My mom decided that I should start early.

"With her help and a great reading program she bought, I could read books by the time I started kindergarten."

A seventh-grader at Depew's Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School, Emma is an avid reader, and can polish off novels, such as an 800-plus page Harry Potter book, in a day.

Not long ago, Emma attended the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering of exceptional sixth- and seventh-graders from around the country.

"I won a scholarship to attend this conference," said Emma, who was in competition with hundreds of other students from around the country for a few scholarships.

A consistent honor roll student, Emma has been in advanced math and reading classes for years. She also excels in spelling bees and sings in church choir.

Know a young outstanding Western New Yorker? Tell us about your nomination, including date of birth and address, for possible publication in ClassActs. Photos can't be returned. E-mail lcontinelli@buffnews.com. Or write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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