Centertown fifth-grader Lauren Elizabeth Mansfield, 11, will be competing in her first national pageant in July when she travels to Atlanta for America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization Pageant.
Before she heads to Atlanta, Lauren will be holding a fundraiser this Friday at Topz beginning at 6 p.m. There will be entertainment from several local performers and a portion of all sales will benefit Lauren, an avid reader, who has chosen literacy as her pageant platform.
“I love reading and that’s why I picked it as my platform,” said Lauren, who said her favorite genre is mystery books. “I read just about every day and I want everybody to be able to read and enjoy it.”
Lauren gets to compete in the national pageant by virtue of being Miss Tennessee Preteen. A pageant circuit veteran, Lauren has won the Snow Princess Pageant twice and was crowned Little Fairest of the Fair in 2014.
“This will be my first national pageant and my first with a sit-down interview,” said Lauren.
Lauren has already been active in promoting her literacy platform. She’s read to children at Mustard Seed Daycare and she’s also read to younger students at Hickory Creek Elementary and Centertown School.
She is currently holding a book drive and seeking all types of books for children to adult. The books will be donated to the library at Warren County Jail, a library which was established in March 2015 as part of a Girl Scout service project.
Lauren will also place books in the Little Library Program that uses birdhouse-type distribution bins. People can peruse the book selection at the bins, which are placed at area schools and at the Civic Center, and take any book they’d like to read at no charge.
If you’d like to donate to Lauren’s book drive, collection sites are available at Southern Standard, Hickory Creek Elementary and Centertown School.
Lauren is a straight-A student, a regional spelling bee participant at the University of Tennessee, a member of 4-H, and an actress in several plays, “The Nutcracker,” “Snow White,” “Little Mermaid,” and “Aladdin.”
America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization Pageant is celebrating its 46th anniversary and is the longest-running premier pageant scholarship for teens in the country.
ANTSO promotes strong scholastic ideals, solid leadership principles and high character growth to young women. Contestants are judged on academic achievement (15 percent), community involvement (15 percent), interview (30 percent), poise, personality and evening gown (15 percent), personal expression (15 percent), and public speaking/ on-stage question (10 percent).
Lauren is the daughter of Mike and Brandie Mansfield.