California Educator

March 2017

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W ith help from the Lake Elsinore Teach- e r s A s s o c i a t i o n ( L E TA ) a n d a C TA Community Engagem ent Grant, par - ents and Lake Elsinore Unified School D i strict t eam ed up with UC Riversi de's Inl and Area Writing Project (IAWP) to offer 22 fifth-grade students an ei g ht -we ek w ritin g w ork shop that stren g th en ed t h e i r s k i l l s a n d c o n n e c t e d t h e m t o t h e j o y of s e l f - expression through writing. Students from Railroad Canyon and Elsinore Elemen- tary schools participated. IAWP co-director Amy Rose says the Young Writers Academy gave students a unique opportunity to have their opinions and ideas validated through writing and sharing work with peers. e students' confidence in their newfound skills was apparent at the IAWP awards assembly Nov. 28 as they shared original stories with a crowded auditorium of proud parents, teachers and district officials. Fifth-grader Emoree Smith explained that students were given different writing assignments at each meeting. Her parents Kevin and Tosh Smith said they have seen a vast improvement in her writing ability as a result of the program, and also significant improvement in sequencing her ideas into clearer messages. Another participant, Angelina Herrera, designed the cover of the anthology published by the workshop. She enjoyed the three-word essay assignment the most — and chose the words "bicycle, tomato, fish" to write about in her short essay. Elsinore Elementary teachers Alyssa Modyman and Adrienne Bohanan, teacher volunteers with the program, have seen positive results and hope to incorporate more class time for writing. LETA President Bill Cavanaugh says the association was happy to work with Lake Elsinore parents to make the workshop happen. Funds from the CTA Community Engagement Grant helped finance the endeavor, and LETA provided the training facility for students and educators to meet during the eight weeks. IAWP managing director Ninetta Papadomichelaki is pleased that LEUSD officials, board members and admin- istrators collaborated in the interests of the community and its children. "We can accomplish so much when we are all working together," she says. Young Writers Academy Lake Elsinore students gain new confidence in their skills By Ed Sibby Young writers, educators celebrate at the end of the workshop; below, Emoree Smith, whose parents saw a marked improvement in her work. Photos by Ed Sibby 46 CTA & You

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