Children’s stories brought to life by high school creative writing class

high school student reading to a group of elementary studentsHigh school students took four weeks in December and January to research, brainstorm, write and illustrate original children’s picture books as part of a creative writing course.

Throughout the assignment, students found themselves stretched by the process.

“Finding a concept and coming up with the general idea of the whole book was probably the hardest part to run with,” said senior Samantha Bachorik.

Classmate Samantha Mizener had a different hurdle to overcome. “I thought it was quite difficult to think of how you were going to illustrate and portray the characters in such a short book.”

While there were obstacles, in the end, their work yielded far more than a collection of books – including an opportunity to read their finished works to Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary students, which made their hard work payoff.

“That was definitely the highlight of the project,” Leah Diacetis said. “It was great to read our stories out loud to them and see them happy. It makes me want to work with kids.”

Mizener agrees. “They were actually listening and interacting as we read, so it was a lot of fun. I think we tried harder because we were presenting our books to kids.”

Which is exactly what Creative Writing teacher Dee Hushmendy had been hoping for. “That is the beauty of having an authentic audience. They appreciate your work, and you appreciate the positive feedback for all of your hard work.”

The class will be reading stories to A.W. Becker students in the spring.