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Riverview Elementary School student Carolyn Rausch shared the cartoon she designed on her iPad during the March 20 Youth Authors Workshop.

Farmington schools: Bringing out the author within

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education Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Having a good story to tell is one thing. Being able to tell that story on paper, to other people, is something entirely different.

Learning how to tell a story to others was part of the motivation behind last week's Young Authors Workshop for Farmington middle school students. Organized by gifted-and-enhanced learning specialist Patricia Smith, the day-long workshop was set up for students who have an interest in writing.


Held March 20 at Boeckman Middle School, the workshop gave students a feel for the different media available to develop their writing skills. It was open to students in grades 4-8, which meant all of District 192's elementary schools and both middle schools participated.

The workshops were conducted by local teachers and authors, who shared different genres and skills with the students. For instance, former Dodge Middle School teacher Jim Hoey, a published author, presented "Writing About Your Passion," while Riverview Elementary School media specialist Brooke Berg, a children's book author, spoke on "Finding Your Voice."

In the media center, visual arts teacher Madonna McCarthy taught students how to make their own journals. Meanwhile, in one of the computer labs, digital learning specialist Brianna Buck showed students how to animate a story as a cartoon using their iPads.

There were seven stations set up around BMS. Students moved from one room to the next throughout the day, and were challenged to use different writing skills in each room.

"This way, they get to meet and interact with writers," Smith said. "Hopefully this will help them move along in their own quests to become a writer."