Clara Brownell Middle School students packed booths, tables, couches and even the floor at Java Junkies on Friday afternoon as the middle-schoolers traded a free afternoon for prose and poetry in the first “Literary Cafe.”

Although the event was organized by members of the school’s Honor Society, adviser Tammy Fisher said the idea came from a school-wide goal.

“Our school has a goal for improving writing, and this idea came from a core team teachers meeting,” Fisher said. “I thought this was a good project for the Honor Society to take on.”

The Honor Society students, including president Anabel Moreno, agreed. The students made posters advertising the event and placed them around the school.

“I think it’s a great idea to get kids out and writing instead of just sitting home and watching TV,” Moreno, an eighth-grader, said. “I think it went really well. This is a good crowd. I hope we do it again.”

Before the event began, two teachers and 16 students had signed up to read a selection they had written. A half dozen students joined an impromptu session at the end.

Seventh-grader Garrett Russell was one of the first to sign up and chose to read an excerpt from a novel he is writing.

“In language arts, we do writing, and my brain is always full of ideas, so I decided to write them down,” he said.

The presentations ranged from holiday haikus and Russell’s combat adventure to short poems written on the spot.

“A lot of kids are here, so I’m very excited,” Fisher said, looking around at the crowd. “A lot of these kids are getting excited about writing, and that’s the goal. If it goes well, we’re hoping to do two more before the end of the year.”

 

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