Kriss Allen, an English teacher at Paonia High School, won an Arch Coal Innovative Teaching Grant recently. With that grant she put on "Writing With The Stars!" on Tuesday, April 9.
It was a day to get the students exposed to careers in writing. The students saw the real-world application of what they have been taught in English.
Paolo Bacigalupi, a world-famous author from Paonia, spoke on the inspiration for his novels which have included "The Windup Girl," "Ship- breaker" and his latest, "The Drowned Cities."
Bacigalupi explained the process he goes through in writing, and that all-important process of getting his words and ideas published.
Western State Colorado University Poetry Slam Team was scheduled to perform for the entire school and talk in the afternoon about poetry, fiction and performance. Unfortunately, there was lots of snow that day and they could not make the trip in time from Gunnison. Allen wanted the students to learn that scholarships are available for students in those areas as well. Perhaps the talented troupe can come another time.
But making the easier trip from Grand Junction was Debra Dobbins, the education coordinator for The Daily Sentinel. Dobbins spoke in the afternoon break-out sessions about real life writing situations. For example, how to write a letter to the editor. She also spoke on journalism. "Basically, how to interact with your writing in a real life scenario," Allen said.
Books by Bacigalupi and Crawford author Craig Childs were given away in drawings at the school. The students also received flash drives and writing supplies to support reading and writing. Allen received a $500 grant from Arch Coal to pay for the event.
Allen will be teaching on Bacigalupi's "Shipbreaker" in her literature class.
Students were treated to a special barbecue lunch that day.
Helping Allen put on the event was Cathy Simpson. Simpson ordered the books and organized the event. "She's good for inspiration. She helped me design everything. She's that person you always want helping you," Allen said.
Simpson also helped Allen win a previous $1,500 grant to purchase Kindles. They were used in her "lit circles." "Shipbreaker" will be put on the Kindles for the students. "So a past grant is being supported by the new one, which I think is important," Allen said. Through the Kindles, the grants are helping to keep literature in the students' hands.blog comments powered by Disqus