by Mel Wells
Writers in the Schools (WITS) held their first-ever student reading at Parkrose High School this year, in celebration of our first semester of WITS writers-in-residence at the school. Ten students from two of Jennifer Newton’s 9th grade English classes read work they produced while working with WITS writer Jamie Houghton during the fall semester.
The school’s Black Box Theatre provided a dramatic setting for the students to share their work. It was also fun and festive, since the reading was on Valentine’s day. Parkrose librarian Ann Stinson brought sugar cookies for everyone, and many students carried balloons and/or flowers. The students’ pieces were personal and unique; even when it was clear that two students had written from the same prompt, they each took it in very different directions. We’re excited to read more of their work and to publish Parkrose in the WITS anthology this year!
Thanks to all the students who read their work, and to the parents and friends who attended for being such a warm audience. Thanks also to Ms. Newton, Ms. Stinson, and the rest of the staff at Parkrose who helped our initial WITS residencies be so successful!