I’m one of the retirees who have been helping ten fifth graders who want to write. (When other kids see us passing through the school halls, they ask, “Are you the grandmas?” Yep, that would be us.) This week we will deliver their finished book. They will each get two copies—one to keep and one to give away to a favorite person. (Or, two to keep—their choice.)
All of the children wrote one, or more stories, we edited them, made suggestions, they learned that writing is also rewriting. Some illustrated their stories. One created the cover. One boy was definitely writing a book, but he managed to make a story out of the first two chapters. One of the girls seems destined to take Steven King’s place, but since she was also prolific, we encouraged one of her sweet stories.
They accomplished quite a bit in a half hour a week, especially since there were several late days for snow that seemed to always happen on our Tuesday morning at the school. They did their writing on a computer easily using a hunt-and-peck system they had each worked out for themselves. (Although it was easy to transfer their work, I really do think it might be better to teach typing skills before using the keyboard. But I’m definitely of the old school—learned how to type in high school on a manual typewriter.)
But, enough of that. I enjoyed working with the kids. I’ve got to say, at least one inner city school is giving the children lots of choice in their education, for we could not have done this without some cooperation from the overworked teachers.