1/19/2012 3:16:00 PM Young writers continue to astound
St. Mary School photo
Heather Woodward and Rachel Foltz
On Nov. 1, each of the students of St. Mary Catholic School in Stayton set out to write a book. As part of the international writing event known as NaNoWriMo, students set class and individual word count goals. Eighth graders decided to write 20,000 words, while Kindergarten took on the equally daunting task of writing 200 words each.
In just 30 school days, the student body has written more than 1.4 million words. According to publication standards, that equals more than 10 full length novels or an average bookshelf of children's books. Ideas abound; unexplored planets, discovered treasure, fairy tales, mysterious happenings, and secret messages are busily written into reality.
“I believe this project has helped me in many ways, but the two major ones are my ability to write better and my ability to finish long projects,” said seventh grader, Seth Kelley.
“It allows you to write what you want and as much as you want,” added Abigail Frith, also a seventh grader.
Eighth grader Rachel Foltz penned an incredible 51,708 words (or 170 publishable pages) and was the school's top achiever.
“Each student has the chance to create an entire world of them own. It's an amazing thing, to see so much imagination poured into their stories,” said Language Arts teacher, Heather Woodward.
Woodward has been leading the school's writing efforts in the middle school for four years and for the first time this year, NaNoWriMo was extended to an all school effort. St. Mary has become noted in the region for their students' excellence in writing ability and performance.