Power of the Pen (SOL #25)

I love coaching Power of the Pen. It’s always fun to spend a Saturday with a group of students who are excited about writing and who get to try their best to compete with other writers in the area.

Today my team competed at Chillicothe Middle School in the Regional Tournament, and after this one, they only have the State Competition left if they qualify. We know we will have at least two of our writers moving on, since they placed 1st and 3rd individually!

The day is always a little crazy because students do three rounds of 40 minute writing sessions, during which they have to follow a prompt – given at the beginning of the round. For each round, I act as a judge in in one of the writing rooms. I am always impressed by how much effort these kids put into their writing, and how much talent I get to see on competition days.

Overall, my 8th grade writers did a fantastic job during today’s tournament – they ended up placing 3rd as a team, with the two who placed 1st and 3rd in individual awards. One of my students even wrote a story based on something that we talked about in class, which made me feel proud. Last week, I showed them a John Green video in which he argues about why we should get rid of pennies in the United States. She took what she learned in that video and turned it into a response to the prompt “Create an acronym for a protest of your own making” – and she did No More Pennies (NMP). I laughed as I read it.

We also have a lot of parents who come to support their children during the award ceremony, and it’s so nice to have them there. They are kind and really appreciate the work we do, and the kids love seeing them there too.

All around, we had a great day!