Sixth Graders Publish Original Portfolios with a Little Help from Their Friends

Congratulations to Ms. Vestuto’s sixth grade Creative Writing students for publishing their compelling writing portfolios!  The anthologies consist of an impressive variety of pieces, including fantasy novels, screen plays, poems and short stories.  With assistance from their teacher and a three-week long visit from the North Shore High School Writing Fellows, the middle school students nurtured their passion for creative communication and exercised their problem-solving skills through the writing process.  By reflecting thoughtfully about the feedback they received, the 6th grade students harnessed point of view, dialogue, description, mood, and figurative language to actively engage their readers. 

Equally as important were the unexpected friendships that developed between the 6th and the 12th grade students.  Sarah Stehling, one of the high school Writing Fellows, describes how the art of composition facilitated those relationships. At first the students I was introduced to were apprehensive to share their stories, as they were very personal to them, however after spending more time with them they became very eager to show me their progress.  Another high school Writing Fellow, Olivia Vizza, describes her reaction to the younger students’ skills and dedication:  It didn’t take long for me to witness the immense creativity and love for writing these students have. I was amazed by how personal and complex each student’s plot lines were, and how motivated they were to keep on writing.

On the last day of the course, the students shared their work with a day of celebration.  Our talented sixth grade Creative Writing students and the compassionate 12th grade Writing Fellows who volunteered their time to help them are indeed committed individuals.  Their attention to both the craft of writing and to the growth of others yielded powerful results.
The sixth graders involved included Mina Stickley, Juliet Ryan-Baez, Gianna Bertolini, Maya Samuels, Niko Stavrianos, Caroline Ledden, Erica Jud, Arianna Giovanniello, Caroline Winchester, Isabelle Lee, Connor Darouvar, Alexandra Levin, Michael Borden and Owen Jense. The high school 12th grade Writing Fellows included Sarah Stehling, Olivia Vizza, Alyssa Dey, and GianCarlo Royal. Many thanks to teachers Dr. Caitlin Kirmser, Diane Vestuto, and Karen Devlin.