DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – When the pandemic shutdown sent all Ohio students to remote learning, 14-year-old Avery Casey found plenty of free time at home.
The eighth-grader at Arts and Prep Academy in Dublin found a way to fill her time by entering a national library video contest.
And she won.
“I classify myself as an introvert who needs people to be around,” Avery said. “It’s a little bit weird.”
The Caseys have three daughters. Mom Jessika teaches at St. Joseph Montesorri with their youngest daughter, Phoebe. Sage and Avery work remotely from home, as does dad Marcus.
When the contest opened this summer, Avery was the only Casey who qualified as a teen.
“So I do digital art and all kind of drawing and painting and stuff,” Avery said. “At one point, I was doing digital art and I was, like, ‘What if it moves?’”
“She’s very analytical, so she really soaked it in and absorbed it,” Jessika said.
Avery, though, was confident.
“The whole time, my dad kept telling me, ‘You might not want to get your hopes too high, you may not win,’” she said.
“She went into it having already spent that $200,” Marcus said with a laugh.
That was the prize money as one of five national winners.
The character in Avery’s winning animation was based on her.
“So what if this character says, ‘How about I found out what my story is by going to the library and getting inspired,” Avery’s character said in the winning video.
And the Caseys’ story during the pandemic?
“We’ve been through some tough times and all struggled emotionally at one point and kind of been there for each other and I think we’re closer because of it,” Jessika said.