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Hicks students' essays to be included in national publication

Hicks students' essays to be included in national publication

January 05, 2009|By JANET HEIM

The promise of pizza and prose drew a crowd of students and parents to E. Russell Hicks Middle School on the evening of Dec. 9.

The literacy celebration was held to recognize the sixth- and seventh-graders whose essays will be published in the Creative Communications 2008 fall edition. The anthology is a collection of student writing from across the country and published by region.

English and language arts teachers Julie Slivka, Bridgette McMahon and Anne Kendall submitted essays of their students of no more than 250 words. Thirty-two students received notification by mail that their work was to be published.

Slivka added that she was pleased and surprised to learn that so many students' work was selected. Not all students whose writing is submitted are chosen for publication.

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"My goal is for the kids to value their writing. This is a place for them to see that writing is important not just inside the classroom," Slivka said.

At the celebration, about a dozen of the published students read their writings to the audience. Topics included birthday celebrations, attending sporting events, most embarrassing moments and a day at Kings Dominion.

"Well, I was actually surprised. I really never won anything in my life as big as this, so I was pretty shocked. My hard work went all into this," said sixth-grader Kahlid Walker.

The school's PTA sponsored the celebration. Cici's Pizza gave them a discount on pizza and Food Lion on Virginia Avenue donated a cake that read "Congratulations Writers!"

"It's all about the students. Anytime you can encourage your students to write, you need to foster that," Tina Caniford, student achievement specialist, told the audience.

Essay winners



Following are Creative Communications Fall 2008 writing contest winners:

Sixth-graders: Samuel Biggus, Caleb Bowders, Samantha Burnett, Joey Burriss, Daniel Cook, Christell Crudup, Erika Dovi, Brady Glatz, Paige Hamburg, Taylor Hamilton, Jared Harman, Shakur Holman, Corrine Hornbaker, Dmorea James, Erinn Kelbaugh, Morgan Kotanko, Jordan Leese, Kiana Mattingly, Jacob Norris, Rachael Ocallaghan, Chardonnay Prather, Samantha Purnell, Donavan Ranger, Kelly Rodriguez, Ashlee N. Shifflet, Kahlid Walker and Darrien Wilson.

Seventh-graders: Abby Appel, Hunter Gift, Zachary Keener, Mary O'Connell and Samantha Rossiter.

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