KJTMA Young Writers Program

KJTMA - Young Writer's Program Charting Their Future
Posted on 12/19/2022
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Learning does not stop for all students when the bell rings at Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy. Students in the Young Inspired Writers Program led by third grade Reading Language Arts Teacher Sharmetra Lewis and parent volunteers just add a deeper dose of creativity, imagination and fun as they sharpen their writing skills. 

The Young Inspired Writers Program meets after-school each week on Mondays with the goal to help students in grades 3 to 8 become young authors by the close of the current school year. 

“The Young Inspired Writer’s Club creates enormous opportunities for our scholars. Not only does it give them a safe space to collaborate with like-minded individuals, but it provides an opportunity for students to express what’s within, through writing and blogging in an authentic way,” said Lewis.

The students are currently working on authoring short novels that they will publish at the close of the school, writing short stories and holiday poems.

“Utilizing the platform Fan School, our students are able to create individualized e-portfolios that showcase their writings, which are shared with family, friends, and the world around them,” said Lewis as she noted the intrinsic benefits of this afterschool program.  “Several students have acknowledged how the writing club helped them come out of their shells, build friendships, and confidence in themselves. 

DeSoto ISD Instructional Facilitator and former high school English teacher Cora Garner stopped by the writing program and was completely overjoyed by the student engagement and experience.

“After observing the scholars in action, I was fascinated by their passion, enthusiasm, and work ethic while writing fiction novels, which they plan to publish by the end of the school year,” she said. “Furthermore, some of the students were collaborating with parent volunteers, who were also excited to partake in the writing process. Considering the literacy trinity of reading, writing, and speaking, I donated a few new culturally responsive novels to further assist students in making self, text, and world connections.” 

Like Garner stopped to experience this program, Lewis has a team of parents who are engaged in the program and work as volunteer leaders and mentors to the students.

“Terrence Gore and Kedric McKnight are two incredible parents who serve on the leadership team alongside me. They also serve as mentors to our young writers, along with parent Dr. LaStassia Williams,” Lewis said. “The role of our mentors is to assist a group of mentees with writing guidance, emotional support, motivation, and leadership skills.” 

Lewis will soon take this program outside the school boundaries with a community impact project. The young writers will visit Park Village Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on December 22 and share their self-authored holiday stories or poems with residents. 

“This program gives me so much joy! I love seeing the excitement on the students' faces when they publish a weekly article. The thought of becoming young, published authors this 2022-2023 school year gives them a sense of purpose and a feeling of accomplishment,” said Lewis. “They’re more courageous when it comes to public speaking and leadership opportunities. I’m excited to see what doors will be opened simply from the courage of our first group of young, inspired writers.”

The Young Inspired Writers Program was established on September 12, 2022 at the campus.