Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Teachers: Joyce Faragasso & Kelly Dilullo

photoJoyce Faragasso and Kelly Dilullo are teachers of gifted education students in grades 1-12 in the Interboro School District in Prospect Park, PA. Over the past 8 years, students in their classes have participated in both the essay and poetry contest. Combined, they have over 550 poems and essays published by their students. This [last] year, one of their first graders received Top 10 in the nation. This was an impressive achievement, since it was the first time a student of theirs received this outstanding recognition!

Joyce says, “We explain to our students writing is a form of communicating. You must choose words that convey a meaning and create a picture in the readers minds, as if you were making a movie for them to watch.” Kelly shared, “Linking the poetry or essay writing to real life situations makes it fun for the kids!” While they have their students enter both contests, they report, “The poetry contest is our favorite to teach! At each level the poetry is fun and motivating for the kids. They love playing with words to create and express!”

“Each year, one of the highlights of our writing projects is the poem and essay contest by Creative Communication. We have a lot of success with it in the classroom and the students really look forward to working on the poems during the fall and the essays during the spring. Once submitted, the students are eager to see the postcards arrive stating their work was selected! It creates an atmosphere for our students to take risks as writers, commend each other, and foster a love of learning-with a twist of competition. In the end, all of our students are ‘published’ because we compile the essays and poetry into a class book for the students to take home and share with their families. Thank you Creative Communication for affording our students the opportunity to participate and providing an avenue to shine! We look forward to many more years of success in your program.”

To learn more about our national writing contests, visit www.PoeticPower.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Grace Zhao

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Grace Zhao was a sophomore at Ward Melville High School when her essay was chosen as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2013 national essay contest. She was born in Long Island and is currently living there. She started writing at a young age, crafting stories about fairies and evil witches when she was seven years old. Last year, she attended the Center for Talented Youth Creative Writing Program at Johns Hopkins. She has also taken supplementary writing classes in school, such as Independent Writing Honors. Other than the Creative Communication competition, Grace has also won a gold award in Scholastic. She loves to write because writing is universal and anybody is capable of it. Other than writing, she enjoys journalism, dancing, playing the violin, and playing the piano.

The inspiration behind her essay, “When Dreams were made of Ham and Cheddar“, was a childhood memory. Grace and her sister always rode scooters around their old neighborhood together, and this is one of her favorite memories of the two. She strove to capture the feeling of innocence and nostalgia in her piece through the use of metaphorical language and imagery.

Grace’s writing goals include establishing a stronger voice, and branching out into different genres. Grace would also like to publish a chapbook of poetry. One of her biggest goals in life is to advocate literacy and the importance of love for writing. In 2012, she chaired a community service event that visited elementary schools for lectures on the importance of English. She and her friends also collected over five hundred books and planned to donate them to impoverished areas in Africa.

To learn more about our national writing contest, visit www.poeticpower.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Iris Rukshin

Iris RukshinIris Rukshin was a Top Ten Winner in our Summer 2013 national essay contest for the 10-12 grade division.  Read “Take a Mouse and Throw It into a Maze” by clicking here.

Iris has moved many times over the course of her life, assimilating to different cultures, and learning different languages. This process of constant adaptation coupled with stories of humans overcoming inauspicious odds inspired her to write “Take a Mouse and Throw It into a Maze”. Her experiences, observations, and constantly changing environment have pushed her to improve, as she discusses in her essay.

Currently, she attends High Technology High School, whose STEM-focused curriculum has helped her realize her goal to study in this field.

To learn more about our national writing contests, visit www.poeticpower.com.

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