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Young writers gain novel experience

Posted 5/13/2011   Updated 5/13/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


5/13/2011 -  MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Children at Maxwell Elementary School got a taste of what it means to be published writers at the school's second annual Authors' Day celebration Monday. Students wrote books for the event and read them aloud to family and friends.

The program allows each student to experience the process of writing and publishing a book.

"The kids have been brainstorming, writing, editing, revising and then publishing the books," according to Melissa Hayes, the school's principal. "At the end of the process, each child has a hardcover book."

Each student read an excerpt from their book, and a reception was held honoring all the young authors.

Even though the children were thrilled to have their books published, Mrs. Hayes said the biggest value doesn't come from a hard-bound book.

"There is reciprocity between reading and writing. Good readers make better writers. Writing contributes to reading by using meaning to generate possibilities while problem solving," Mrs. Hayes said. "More importantly, of the skills that students will need in the future to be successful, writing is going to be one of the most important."

The school has focused on improving student writing. Hosting Authors' Day helps the school achieve that goal, according to Brenda Teal, first-grade teacher.

"For us, as a school, we saw the need to become better writers, and we've integrated writing across the curriculum. The students have worked hard to develop the process of writing throughout the year," Mrs. Teal said. "We wanted to have this day as a celebration to honor the student writers."

The event wasn't just rewarding for the students. Seeing the progress the children have made was rewarding for the faculty as well.

"The children feel so accomplished. It's neat to go back, see the children's writing portfolios, and see how much they have progressed from the beginning of the year until now," Mrs. Teal said. "It's great to see their 'A-ha' moment about what they've achieved."

Kathi Rogers, educational technologist at the school, added that making the books with the students was rewarding.

"Because we're a military school, students may move several times. The book is a memory the children can take with them," Mrs. Rogers said. "They'll have that memory forever."



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