Teaching students to write is part of English and reading classes from an early age in the Meramec Valley R-III School District.
But for one week each year, district schools host creativity pageants where even very young students tackle the challenge of telling a story.
The fourth annual Writing on the Wall project will kick off Feb. 26 and run through March 2, when all the school buildings in the district will be turned into giant literary shows, with visiting authors and literary assemblies.
The program is an outgrowth of the former poetry slams, which were evening events that invited youngsters to try their hand at writing verse.
The district’s Write On Committee created those early writing shows to promote literacy across all of the schools.
The more recent Writing on the Wall projects are pervasive, touching every classroom and every student with the tools to build confidence in putting words on paper, officials said.
As a key part of the celebration, the works of elementary school students are posted on the hallway walls outside their classrooms and family and friends are invited to read them.
Randy Meyer, Riverbend English teacher, chairs the event with the help of a teacher representative at each building to help guide the program.
Meyer said the goal of the Writing on the Wall project is to showcase the district’s passion for literacy across all grade levels. He encourages youngsters to pick a topic that they can write about without fear of taking a risk.
A passionate writer who has completed three unpublished novels, Meyer’s first love is teaching students to write.
For the district pageant, he rounds up speakers and authors to visit the schools and promote the joy of writing.
Members of the Write On Committee are Amy Bruns, Ed Kappeler, Rhonda Lee, Sue Livingstone, Randy Meyer, Nina Pape and Heidi Shelton, who met in December to begin preparation for the 2018 Writing on the Wall Week.