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Alcove Trails Middle School

Alcove Trails Tiger Writers’ Club Publishes First Book

Each Thursday students in the Tigers Writers’ Club gather in Sarah Denning’s classroom to develop their creative writing skills, participate in writing-based games, and develop their own projects.  

This semester, the students wrote different pieces based on the prompt “Out of the Shadows”. These prompts were collected to form the club’s very first anthology publication. The students decided they wanted to let other classmates enjoy their work and donated the book to the Alcove Trails library.  

“It was such a joy to watch these students create community during our Thursday lunches,” said Sarah Denning, Alcove Trails Reading Language Arts Teacher. “With Alcove Trails being a new school, many of the students didn’t know each other well at first. A few weeks in, the conversation was bubbling from the moment they walked in. Students were familiar with one another’s projects and so encouraging of their writing journeys. It was neat to watch them grow socially and as writers.” 

The inspiration behind the Tiger Writers' Club was to foster a place where students could exercise their creative writing skills. 

“We have so many talented kids at our school, and many have expressed to me that they work on writing at home for fun,” said Denning. “Without something extracurricular, I only had the opportunity to work with writers in my classroom and I wanted to work with all the young writers that I could!” 

Once the book was published the students felt a new sense of pride and confidence in their work.  

“Students loved seeing their work in print and had fun encouraging their friends to check their book out in the library. Several of them told me, “I think I could really be an author, Mrs. Denning!” to which I said, “Of course, you can! You already are!” I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these kids, "said Denning. 

This year Denning published her very first book and being able to watch her students fall deeper in love with writing has brought her deep fulfillment. 

“Watching these students’ confidence grow along with their writing abilities was the most fun and fulfilling thing. That’s what we all want as teachers, to watch students grow into their own and get excited about learning and creating,” said Denning. 

Although Denning may be guiding the students, she feels that they’ve equally inspired her.  

“It is my hope that the Tiger Writers’ Club students will benefit from what I learned along the way in finding their own success,” said Denning. “I have to say though, their creativity and refreshing perspectives were helpful to me in my writing too! When we did writing exercises together, I would often find myself saying, “Wow! I hadn’t thought of that!” I would say that we all learned and grew as writers together.” 

Right now, there are Tiger Writers who have started to write a few chapters for books of their own. They plan to continue working on those over the summer and when they return to school.  

Great work, Tiger Writers’ Club!