Over the course of this school year, sixty (60) students engaged with creative writing workshops sponsored by a grant through the TN Arts Commission. Ms. Julia Rogers worked with students in third grade and higher in groups of less than twenty (20) students at three different locations: Madisonville Intermediate School, Madisonville Boys and Girls Club and Vonore Boys and Girls Club.

 
Students engaged with the following writing activities:
 
Story Stones – Students visually collected items from a walk and then drew/painted the items on a stone to tell their story.
Thanksgiving Tales – Students created their own Thanksgiving tale. Yarn art silhouettes were used as illustrations,
Weaving & Storytelling – The words “text” and “textile” come from the same Latin origin meaning, “to weave.” Students explored how text implies a story or words and how storytelling is very much a part of textiles and weaving.
New Holiday – Students created a poster inviting others to a new holiday celebration.
This I Believe – This I Believe is an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives.
Poetry – Students explored and created a variety of poetry.
Dialogue for Art – Students viewed works of art on the National Gallery of Art website. Then students selected one piece of art for which they created dialogue.
Comic Book – Students used comic strip templates to draw, color and write words to their own comic story.
Animal Pop-Up Book – Students cut out pictures of animals from magazines or drew their own animals to create a story real or imagined about the animal.
Gingerbread Town – Students helped create Gingerbread Town for the MIS Christmas festival and they created brochures to inform guests about what to expect in Gingerbread Town.  They used their imagination to create stores and things to do within the town and they included their own drawings in the brochures.
 
According to teaching artist, Julia Rogers, the students LOVED the animal pop-up book activity the most while writing dialogue for art was the most challenging.  “This I Believe” was amazing. We broke it down to a “rule” or promise they have for their life and some of their stories were so encouraging. Some believe you should always be faithful to God and to yourself. Another believed you should always have confidence in yourself. Another suggested a story about never giving up on yourself,” Ms. Rogers recalled.
 
Monroe Area Council for the Arts would like to thank Madisonville Intermediate School, Madisonville Boys & Girls Club, Vonroe Boys & Girls Club and the TN Arts Commission for making this project possible.