Plenty to Write About in the Community

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, April 6, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

IN THE NEWS — Students in Rita Colby’s class at Centre School display copies of the Atlantic News, which they received during a visit by a guest journalist for their "Write Around the Community" project.
[Atlantic News Staff Photo]

HAMPTON -- Rita Colby’s second graders at Centre School have been very busy writers lately, thanks to an annual class project entitled "Write Around the Community."

The project, according to Colby, "is built upon the essential questions of 'What experiences and factors lead to success in writing?’ and 'What impact does writing have on our lives?’"

Throughout their involvement in the project, the students welcome a variety of guest speakers from many professions from around the Seacoast community. Sitting in a circle on the carpeted meeting area of their classroom, they listen attentively to the day’s speaker.

During their appointed one-hour visit, each guest discusses with Colby’s class the impact writing has made in their life. They are also asked to share their writing experiences while growing up, tell how they use writing in their present vocations, and offer their thoughts or plans for future written endeavors.

After the guest speaker’s presentation, there is a question-and-answer session around the circle. Then, the students sit at their desks and write in their journals, recording their memories of the presentations. While this is taking place, the guest is interviewed one-on-one by a student selected ahead of time.

When all the writing is completed, the students have the opportunity to read their entries to the speaker, who autographs the journal entries after listening to them.

As the project comes to its conclusion, the student interviews soon become part of a bound book that Colby compiles using their work. Once the book is published it lets everyone read about all the fun writing experiences the students have enjoyed and the guests they have met while they "Write Around the Community."

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