Young authors tried to capture the essence of their community in a new soft cover book titled “PACIFIC Through the Eyes of 16 Young Authors.”
Writers in sixth, seventh and eighth grades participated in the St. Bridget Writing Project, a semester-long program that stretched the skills of the gifted students.
Students were asked to write, read aloud, critique fellow students’ papers and accept criticism as they created a series of essays.
The writing style never changed. Each student was asked to use his or her own narrative, or storytelling voice in each paper. What was different was the method in which they gathered their information.
The pieces focused on an activity or place in the community. Students were asked to describe what they know, what they do, interview someone they admire and research topics that describe their hometown.
Not surprising, some students chose close relatives. Lauren Granich wrote about her dad, a police helicopter pilot.
“You forgot to say that he brought the helicopter here and landed in the school yard,” one of her fellow authors reminded her.
Lindsey Krause described Pacific Care Center and what it means to the patients and the community.
“You left out that our school takes field trips there every year,” one fellow eighth-grader said.
There are three R’s in this book as well — the river, railroad and Route 66, elements that played a part in Pacific’s history. But students chose to look at these three R’s today. The Bend Bridge is scary, the Meramec River has flooded in their lifetime and the street in front of their school is the famous Route 66. It should not surprise readers that the students knew quite a bit about the bluffs and silica sand deposit in Pacific. They look at Sand Mountain every day and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag at the top of the bluff.
Students were asked to listen carefully and critique gently. And so the stories were built in a series of discussions, using collective observation and memory.
As a result some 65 unique short stories about Sand Mountain, the Meramec River, the railroad, the city park system and the sports played there, and the history of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish have been compiled in the book.
Pauline Masson was the project tutor and book editor.
Sixth-grade authors are Lauren Granich, Anna Mattli, Claire Brinkmann, Grace Gerdin, Morgan Ripper, Olivia Walter and Mikayla McKinney.
Seventh-grade authors are Mallory Nickelson, Olivia Harris, Max Hansman and Noah Overman.
Eighth-grade authors are Lindsey Kraus, Gabe Overman, Michaela Morhaus, Coleman Kuseliauskas and Elizabeth Mattli.
The book was published by Sand Mountain Books and is available at St. Bridget School and from students. All proceeds from the sale of the 96-page, soft cover book will go to St. Bridget of Kildare School. The book is available at the school office, 223 W. Union St., 636-257-4533. Cost is $15.