I am so proud of the writing group Write On People that I initiated last November. We have proved that a small group with no money can accomplish big things. All it takes is a desire to inspire and encourage others. Someone recently asked me what I saw for the group and after giving it some thought my answer was, "That everyone ends up better than they were when they walked through the door."
During June we offered a one week, one hour per day, writing camp to kids who spend their time at our local family center. Being mostly grandparents we felt that students don't get a chance to use their imagination to express themselves through writing during the school year. It is not the fault of the teachers. They have too much curriculum to fill to spend time on creativity. During the camp we gave the kids a taste of different ways of writing such as: interviewing, dialogue, poetry, reporting and creative writing. Each day the person from our group who was the most skilled in a particular aspect of writing was in charge and given free reign of how they wanted to fill their hour.
For a group that had never done something like this before I think we did a great job! The kids came in every morning quietly sat down and were ready to learn what we had to offer. The only rule is one I set up on the first day and that was respect; for each other and for the adult in charge. Its simplicity got their attention. When the week was over I believe our group members learned as much as our students did. Perhaps the most important thing was that the generation gap is all in the mind!
When the camp was over we sponsored a writing contest for area kids in grades 3 to 6. The topic was, Who I Am. After the first week with only a few submissions I got a phone call from a teacher that informed me she was encouraging her summer school students to enter our contest. What a life saver she was! It gave us a total of 34 entries. The entries were judged on creativity and imagination by three people from the community who had no connection with the kids.
Our local Bureau of Land Management office provided wonderful volcano posters and Frisbees for all the kids who entered the contest. Literacy Volunteers of Cibola County provided certificates and a book of their choice for all the winners. Future Foundations Family Center also helped us out with our printing needs. We are very grateful for the assistance of these organizations because our group has no money.
I am really looking forward to this coming Monday as we are having an award ceremony for the winners and get to see the faces behind the creative kids Write On People helped to inspire. I am full of pride for what we were able to accomplish and I hope our efforts will inspire others to follow our lead. Below is the poster and Frisbee donated by BLM.