Dr. Anna West’s Writing Lab class—11th and 12th graders—had their last visit at Polk Elementary today. Dr. West partnered the high schoolers with the Polk students as part of a creative writing initiative focused on poetry. All year long, McKinley students worked one-on-one with Polk children to help them improve literacy, communication, and creative writing skills.
Today was a celebration of that partnership. McKinley students led group games, organized a picnic, and offered their little partners a notebook including a letter of appreciation. In one of them, Mya, a higher schooler, told her partner Trinity that she was proud of her accomplishments and hoped to see her again. This was the general feeling of the day. Polk students praised their partners for helping them express their emotions through poetry, and McKinley students looked proud and humbled by their own abilities to mentor and lead younger children.
Ms. Sanders, the Polk teacher, told McKinley students that they were “leaders in the making” and insisted they keep in touch when they graduate in 2019 or 2020. I’ve had the chance to observe multiple workshops led by the Writing Lab and it is clear to me also that McKinley students are positive agents of change in their community.