HS GATE Students Host MS Writing Workshop

Pine-Richland Middle School and High School GATE teacher and high school GATE students sponsored a middle school writing workshop for area schools in the Northern Area Gifted Consortium.  The workshop was held on January 28, 2016 in the PRHS Spirit Room.

This was the 23rd annual Writing Workshop hosted by the Pine-Richland GATE Department.  The theme this year was creative writing through the genre of “Fantasy”.  Each middle school student participated in five creative writing stations.

About 75 seventh and eighth graders from the following middle schools attended: Avonworth, Carson, Dorseyville, Hampton, Highlands, Ingomar, Northgate, Marshall, Moon, Pine-Richland, and Riverview.  

Pine-Richland High School GATE students worked for the last three months developing writing activities that they could present at the workshop through collaboration with GATE teachers Kathy Deal and Brittany Pikur, who have been presenting the program at PR since 2011.

Ms. Deal says by having high school students serve as mentors, the program has become even more meaningful for grades six through 12.

“This event gives the MS students a chance to write creatively and share their writing passion with others, while this is a leadership opportunity for our high school students who love to write,” said Ms. Deal.

The five Creative Writing Stations and student facilitators included:

“A New Perspective” – Point of view workshop by Lauren Donahoe, Megan Hrach and Syndey Smith.
“Setting Up” – Poetry & place workshop by Leanne Klingensmith and Sarah Libby
“Should I Stay or Should I go?” – Playwriting by Jacob Garretson, Maddie Ince, Nick Raczkewicz and Anastasia Simpson
“Who are You?” - Illustrative writing by Maddie Hess & Lucy Hess
“Time Capsule” - Purposeful writing session by Payton Steinkirchner and Savannah Null.

After participating in each writing station, students were given the opportunity to share their written work, and dozens of students took advantage of this opportunity.


PRMS seventh grader Rebecca Peng said she enjoyed the workshop because it gave her greater exposure of writing through a different genre.


“We got to explore different topics and ways of writing through a different genre,” Rebecca said.

Senior Maddie Hess and ninth grader Lucy Hess performed musical versions of the students’ works by singing the writing to popular tunes.

Senior Leann Klingensmith, who was the editor of the workshop booklet, has been working with Mrs. Deal on the project every year for four years and was the first ninth grader to ever participate in the project. Creative writing is her mission.

“There’s not a lot of chances for creative writing,” Leann said. “"The workshop is a good way to get kids to develop creativity and express themselves through writing.