An anthology of fiction written and published by fifth graders is the result of a year’s worth of writing and collaboration at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School in Brunswick, Maine.

Soft SkillsThe 170 students have worked with teaching artists from the Portland-based nonprofit The Telling Room. It is a writing studio and publish house for youth.

The result of their hard work was a navy colored bound volume “The Stars Spoke.”  Recently they gathered in the school auditorium to listen to each other as they read from their work.

The stories cover a wide range and were written over nine sessions.  The youngsters brainstormed, and wrote and refined their stories with volunteers from various creative professions.

The program is possible through a partnership between the school and Arts Are Elementary.

“It’s kind of hard to say when you’re in kindergarten, ‘Oh, when I’m in fifth grade, I’m going to get published in a book,” said Julia Acord, a fifth-grader.  “When I’m at home I can just write. It’s different to be published to have something people can read,” said her classmate, Maeva Culbertson.

The mission of the Telling Room is to instill that sense of accomplishment and pride among young people.

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