The Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES (CO BOCES) community united with pens, pencils, and paper for 13 minutes on March 13. The school's first Write Now 13! Day aimed to create a community of writers, celebrate literacy, and recognize the importance of writing in all industries and professions.
About Write Now 13!
At 9:13 a.m. and 12:13 p.m., everyone in the CO BOCES building wrote for 13 minutes. Participants chose their best 13 words and submitted them for publication in CO BOCES' first literary magazine, which will be published in June 2017.
Write Now 13! was created by CO BOCES' high school English teachers Amanda Triplett and Crystal Ponto. The pair distributed a writing-themed survey to the school community in the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year to determine the group's thoughts on writing. Sixty percent of students participated in the survey. The results revealed the following: (1.) Teachers agree that writing is important; (2.) Many teachers use writing in the classroom that’s relevant to the discipline; (3.) 90 percent of student respondents say they dislike writing because they’ve been given topics to write about that they can’t relate to personally; and (4.) Many teachers were not confident in their own writing abilities.
Giving students a voice; creating a literary magazine
In response to the survey results, Ms. Triplett and Mrs. Ponto created the Teachers Writing Group. The group consists of 14 members who meet monthly to discuss the book Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.
The group helped shape the creation of CO BOCES’ new literary magazine. Ms. Triplett knows what it takes to create an award-winning literary magazine, as she learned first-hand from a former mentor.
Though her mentor taught her many things, she says one of his comments made a lasting impression on her: “When you give kids a chance to share their story to an audience that matters, everything changes.”
Those words resonate with Ms. Triplett, and inspired her to collaborate with Mrs. Ponto on this writing initiative at CO BOCES.
“Give students a voice. Publish their work. This validates their educational journey in a new way.”
Ms. Triplett’s ultimate hope for every member of the CO BOCES community is to unleash the power of writing. ”Maybe it's not too late to still have a love for words -- and I think BOCES is a place for second chances.”