Students + Local Innovators = Success

By Jennifer L. Davidson


After every teaching opportunity, I like to reflect on what went well and also on the areas where I can improve. Now that the after-school Creative Writing Exploration program at Kellogg has ended, I’m thinking about the program as a whole. Which week was amazing and why? Which week were the students’ eyes glazed over with boredom? Looking back, I’m happy to say that most days were exceptional in my book. The students were introduced to exactly what I had promised. Community members, who are local innovators in their field, were more than happy to share their knowledge, experience, and most importantly, their passion for their craft. Oh, and the students had a lot of fun! Yes, they told me that. I didn't just make that up.

We had serious discussions about a wide range of topics throughout the program, but also found plenty of time to be absolutely silly, mostly when creating stories starring Ninja Cat. Who knew?!

I’m just so proud to have had this vision become a reality, because when else do middle school students get the chance to hear directly from a screenwriter, a songwriter and music producer, a playwright, a fiction writer, an online news journalist, and a broadcast journalist? I never did. My three kids never did. Hopefully, this program can change that for students in our community.

Many thanks to those who came into the classroom, masked up and ready to share. This program wouldn't have been a success without them.

Tyler Aug - screenwriting

Dylan Hilliker - songwriting & music production

Mike Kalmbach - fiction writing

Debi Neville - playwriting

Sean Baker - Print/Digital journalism

Caitlin Alexander - Broadcast journalism

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