CLEAR FORK VALLEY — What do you think goes through the head of a youngster given a chance to break into the publishing world by being a writer with his or her very own “blog?”
Two charmers — one from Butler and one from Bellville — have been given the opportunity to do just that because they have already published their observations on a student blog on the Clear Fork School District web site.
Third grader Kit Daniels says she thinks construction at the Bellville site is “going slowly (my opinion.”
“There is a lot of dirt, rocks, tools, tubes, and water.”
Her compatriot — Myles Sharp, a lightly freckled fourth grader in Butler, says he thinks the site there could be called “Dirtland” because of all the dirt that has been dug up to the surface.
Sharp said following the process allows him to look at real construction. He said it goes “up, up and up every day.”
Daniels is quiet in the way she talks about her accomplishment. She says the first thing she thought about when asked to make an observation is that “it’s going to be a pretty school.”
Asked if that means she’s an optimist, she smiles and says “yes.”
For school on her interview day, she was wearing bright blue, with a pretty blue flower in her hair.
Both Daniels and Sharp have been chosen to do blogs, along with other students selected by teachers at each school.
Teachers Ed Kossick and Eric Cunningham in Butler have been involved in the project. At Butler, Paula Slezak is Daniels’ teacher. She has also worked with Kossick.
Sharp, in Butler, said he is happy that people “can see my writings.”
He said there students were told to write a short story, and teachers would figure out who could participate as bloggers.
His story was about a dog named Hero, that did amazing things in Washington, D.C.
The story line is this: This dog, a golden retriever, wasn’t allowed to particpate in an investigation when someone stole the Declaration of Independence. The District of Columbia police only wanted to use German Shepherd dogs. The golden retriever wasn’t desired for this job. The story ends well for Hero.
Sharp won a writing competition put on by the Johnny Appleseed group, where he submitted a poem.
Both Daniels and Sharp, plus the other youngsters who will be writing, have been given journals and digital cameras to aid them in the project, said Kossick.
A total of 21 students is doing the blog writing, he said. People will eventually be able to see all the compositions of each blog writer by consulting the web site.
Kossick said he thinks the “perspective and insight” of the students is “spectacular.”
There will end up being 400 pages of blogs, and writers will cycle in and out, said Kossick.
As a teacher of robotics and computer programming, Kossick said he thinks what the 21 students is doing is “pretty amazing.”
He said he thinks it is important for the kids to be able to chronicle the building of two new buildings, because both buildings are 100 years old.
It is a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Kossick.
It will allow kids to pay “homage” to the school.
One of the things that distinguishes efforts in the Clear Fork schools is that teachers there have done something different with teaching STEM. This stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In some schools older students are introduced to STEM, he said. In the Clear Fork schools kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are introduced to STEM.
In this district STEM “trickles up.” In other districts, it trickles down, he said.
Because the blog project is just starting, not a lot of students have gotten to participate. Daniels, of Bellville, said she will have to think about her next effort. She is the daughter of Elizabeth and D. J. Daniels.
For the record, she thinks being in Bellville has its pluses and its minuses. In her first posting, she talks about the “ridiculous hill” kids have to walk up and down every day to get to the building where they have lunch.
From Sharp’s perspective, the Butler building will be “done fast.” Portions of the structure of the building are already up.
Sharp said in writing “I was self taught.” He said he “likes lots of details” and wants to transmit information to people. He thinks the writing is a “great opportunity.”
His parents, Brad and Amber Sharp, support his efforts. He brought home a note to be signed, and they did that task “right away,” said Sharp.