• Joan Int'Hout, a teacher for English Language Learners, with students Aracely Cruz and Belen Yepez-Aguilar during the Just Write event at West Godwin Elementary
  • Jushawn Jackson checks his work during the Just Write event at West Godwin Elementary
  • Luis Hernandez wrote about teamwork and how his coach helps him get better about all sorts of sports in his essay for Just Write
  • All of West Godwin Elementary students got to publish their work on the schools' during the event "Just Write," a celebration of the written word at the school. Event teachers had the opportunity to share their thoughts in writing for the event
  • Students got to write comments of other students work during the "Just Write" event organized to promote enthusiasm for writing among students

Just Write: Inspiring students by publishing their work

by Nardy Baeza Bickel  

Luis Hernandez may only be a third grader, but the West Godwin elementary student has already published his writing for the whole world to see. Or at least, for HIS whole world to see.

"I like it because it makes me feel proud," said a shy Luis Hernandez. "I wrote about my ball teacher… he teaches me about soccer, basketball – he helps me get better."

His work, along with writing from all of West Godwin Elementary students, covered the walls and halls of the school during the second annual "Just Write" event.

Hand-written or typed, without pictures, all students had the "required opportunity" to show how much their writing has improved throughout the year, said organizer Megan Jones, an instructional specialist. She borrowed the idea from her previous school as a way to promote writing.Students got to write comments of other students work during the "Just Write" event organized to promote enthusiasm for writing among students

"We felt like we were lacking in the writing area and wanted to find a way to celebrate it and make it part of their lives," she said. "So we decided all year they would practice and then we would have a celebration where there would be writing everywhere. "

Last week, students' work discussing their favorite pastimes, what they liked about their school or how they acted when they were "wild" (as inspired by "Where the Wild Things Are") lined the hallways. Parents, staff and students read the work and left comments on sticky notes. Teachers also shared their own writing, poems, songs and stories.

"It's a great way to give the children an opportunity to demonstrate their talent and a way to recognize them and help increase their self-esteem," said Dolores Esqueda, a parent with two daughters at the school (Emily, fourth grade, and Dolores, first). "It also showed the support of the community as a whole. It was so nice to see the parents, teachers and other students leaving comments for the other students, supporting them, encouraging them. It shows the unity in the community."

"It's fun for the kids to see their work published," agreed Jones, who said they hope to make the event an annual celebration.

"The writing is fantastic and reinforces the importance of writing. Children need an audience to write to. If the kids know mom and dad and the principal are going to be reading my writing, it makes them go 'like wow I better take it seriously,"' Jones said. "The kids were really fired up."

Submitted on: June 7th 2013

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