Left: Leroy Amankrah | Right: Courtesy of Hiba Melhem Stancofski
This year, Grace Lange won the 2022 Miss Delaware USA Pageant and Hiba Melhem Stancofski won 2022 Best Fictional Children’s Book in Delaware.
State of Grace
By Michael Bradley
When Grace Lange learned that she had won the 2022 Miss Delaware USA Pageant in early April, she had a powerful reaction.
“Pure shock,” she says.
Lange, who was also Miss Teen Delaware in 2017, wanted to win, but pageant success isn’t her main goal. A 2021 Villanova graduate who was a member of the women’s basketball team, Lange is completing her first year of law school at University of Pennsylvania. She’ll compete in the Miss USA pageant later this summer and looks forward to strengthening relationships she has made during the process.
“I’m grateful,” she says. “If [winning Miss USA] happens, it happens. But I feel like I already won. I get to represent my state.”
By Rachel Swick-Mavity
The Delaware Press Association Communications Contest recently awarded first place in the 2022 Children’s Book: Fiction category to I Feel Better Now, written by Hiba Melhem Stancofski of Lewes. The book will go on to a national competition sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women.
Stancofski, a certified yoga instructor and mindfulness teacher who works with high school sports teams, wanted to share how these tools can help children of all ages deal with the stresses of daily life.
“Mindfulness and yoga can bring more clarity and equanimity to help cope with difficult emotions such as stress, anxiety [and] sadness, and can help us navigate life’s challenges,” explains Stancofski, who has been trained in vinyasa yoga, yoga for cancer, yoga for Level I trauma and restorative yoga, as well as Reiki Level II. She is also a member of the Yoga Alliance and Minds Over Matter initiative and is a Mindful Schools-certified mindfulness educator.
In the book, protagonist Alia sees her younger brother Tommy struggling during the pandemic. She takes him through the town of Lewes, where he learns mindfulness techniques to help ease his emotions.
“I hope the book can help students and teachers both in Delaware and beyond,” the author says. “Everyone can use tools to help reduce anxiety and stress.”
I Feel Better Now, illustrated by Timothy Bada, an artist now living in Hawaii, is available throughout Sussex County at Browseabout Books, SoulFire Collective Yoga, Urban Float, Bombshell Boutique, Surf Bagel, Kids’ Ketch, and Involution Yoga and Wellness.