How much one should care about writing was the question many third graders in Mrs. Sue Hardison’s class at Lisbon Community School were asking themselves as they listened to this Advocate reporter talk about the importance of writing. Earlier this month, I received a wonderful invitation from Mrs. Hardison to visit her class and encourage students to be engaged and informed writers. As an Advocate staff writer, I was honored to be asked to talk about writing.

I walked into the classroom at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, November 3. The students were all excited and getting ready to listen to what I had to say. My goal, as an avid writer, was to get the students energized and awakened to places writing can take them.

First, I talked about the Academic Advocate. I shared the crucial need of writing to evoke emotion in your readers. Two of the first things I learned from Mrs. Monica Millhime, Lisbon High School Advocate Advisor, was, “You need to be accurate, quote your sources, and get pictures to grab a reader’s attention.” Many students became excited about the photography and had many questions about if one could just take pictures. Of course you can just take pictures for Advocate. You also need to work well with lots of people and identify them in your stories. I shared some of my first Advocate articles, and showed examples to students, how over time, the length and quality of my articles grew.

Mrs. Hardison extended the invitation for my classroom presentation on writing to assist her students with their current studies about narratives. As an example of narrative work, I shared my Diabetes story which appeared in the December 2007 Advocate.

At the end of my 20 minute presentation, I re-emphasized writing at anytime is important. Some of my best work is when I am bored. Writing is like a friend who is always there. One can say whatever you want, and as long as it’s not published, it won’t be judged.

Mrs. Hardison has given each student a special journal. The journals won’t be graded. Students were encouraged to write in their journals whenever they felt like it.

After the presentation was over, students had a couple of minutes to see my “brag book” of all my awards and articles. Writing helps me as a person. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to be published. Personal thanks to Mrs. Hardison for inviting me to her class to share one of my passions, Mrs. Millhime for her inspiration, and Mr. Leo Baillargeon, Sun Journal Advocate Editor, for always being flexible with deadlines and publishing my writing as much as possible.

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