Third grader Ashlynn Ramsey is not afraid of ghosts or monsters. On Wednesday, she confronted a bigger fear: reading her scary story in front of an audience. As Ashlynn spoke into the microphone, her eyes stayed locked on the sheet of paper in her hands. A squirrelly crowd of elementary students and their parents listened to her tale, but none were more engaged than her teacher and family in the front row. The reading was the culmination of a ghost story contest organized by Students for the Promotion of Writing. This was the second year for the contest, which...Read More
A flock of origami cranes dangled above the cluttered stage as Kashia Ellis-Taylor stepped up to the microphone. She pulled out her phone from the pocket of her rainbow speckled overalls and began to read aloud the poem on her tiny screen. Much like its namesake, “Lightning” was quick. Immediately after she finished the poem, Ellis-Taylor began reading another piece she had written, leaving no space for applause. She announced she would end with a series of poems that featured lines borrowed from “Hamilton” lyrics. The audience, which included many thespians, cheered at the mention of their favorite musical. ...Read More
When Malory Owen was 4 years old, her parents lost sight of her at Hueston Woods. Like any good parents, they panicked, assuming the worst had happened on their guided tour. They found Malory at the front of the group hike, holding hands with her new friend Ingvar, a naturalist. On each subsequent visit to the park, Malory brought her friend more questions about the expansive animal kingdom. “My respect for wildlife really stemmed from those interactions,” Malory said. Along with the common pets like cats and dogs, Malory’s childhood homes were host to a number of reptiles. There...Read More
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