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First Creek Students Are Award-Winning Journalists (well, they should be)!

We are so proud of our First Creek Middle School student writers who, just before the holiday break, churned out a six-page student newspaper, packed with news stories, interviews, movie and book reviews, comics, creative writing, and even an unique word search puzzle and gossipy advice column. It’s so awesome, and the students are so smart and creative — we can’t wait for the next edition!

Every Tuesday and Thursday, through the cool and rainy autumn, about 25 students and five write@253 volunteers (plus or minus a few on any given day) were led by First Creek team leader Allison Muir as they brainstormed, argued, laughed, pondered, and wrote about newsworthy topics such as the death of Nelson Mandela and the leaving of their beloved principal, Brad Brown, who moved to the Kent School District. They reviewed The Hunger Games and World War Z, editorialized about the Miami Heat, and interviewed their peers, student soccer players and write@253 volunteers. They wrote powerful short stories titled “Slender,” “Hidden Angel,” “The Zombie Apocalypse is Coming,” “Loneliness,” “The Stranger,” and “My Special Gift.”

As any writer knows, doing this kind of work isn’t easy. Writing can be hard and frustrating, as well as amazing and beautiful. Whatever it is, writing gives students a chance to speak their minds, to learn about the world, to create something interesting and important, and the First Creek students were definitely up to the task. As Allison was putting the final touches on the newspaper layout, she noted, “I’m incredibly proud of our First Creek writers. Whether it’s a story about a snowman coming to life, a zombie apocalypse, or the soccer team, such creativity and heart went into the writing. Putting it all together was like a quiet meditation on the gift of working with a diverse group of beautifully brilliant children.  I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this work.”

We’ll get the paper onto our website asap, but here’s the opening of the short story “Hidden Angel” by Fluffy, just to whet your appetite:

“But dad, this isn’t right. Every day you send me outside to end the lives of innocent families just because you think that’s the sacrifice you have to make so you can get to this so called ‘heaven’. If you ask me I think it’s pathetic, weak, and unnecessary.”

“It’s wrong.” I said.

“Well, sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do, I know it’s hard but you have to trust that everything will be alright my little angel,” my dad said calmly, but how could he be so calm?

       “Trust? How can you put trust in ending an innocent life just because you think it’s going to help you get to heaven?” I screamed at him, unfortunately there was no point in trying to make him see how what he was making me do wasn’t right.

     “You’re still young, you couldn’t have understood even if I explained it to you in the simplest way.” It seemed he was challenging me to prove him wrong. I promised myself that someday I would be free of my father’s grasp, so I could finally be free of his wicked rules, and I would never have to do anything like this ever again.

     After dinner that night I went upstairs to my room, and sat by the window staring at the beautiful moon and stars wondering what it would be like to feel free or be free from this never ending nightmare …

Stay tuned. The rest of the story will appear soon!

In addition to Fluffy, First Creek students who contributed to the First Creek News include Michael Waller, Trevon Ragin-Purter, Josh Garcia, Givan Villagomez, Alex Strong, Tierney Allen, Sally Nguyen, Arianna Aiolupotea-Fisaga, Pink Sparkles, Austin Livingston, Cherry, Danyelle Drisdale, Matthew Rankin, Sock Monkey, Annie Vo, Miguel Torres, Tim Matushevskiy, Aliyah, Kayla, Denyse Morena, Laurenze El, Zahara Hamadi, and Ricardo Avila.

Great job, students. Keep creating. Keep writing. We want to hear what you have to say.