Children's voices find a forum

"It's amazing what kids learn from each other that they don't pick up from adults," Robinson said.

The first issue of Skribblers features many different genres of writing, from short stories to poetry and even artwork. Robinson said she had sub-missions from children as young as 6.

"It's amazing that a 6-year-old can create a story with a beginning, middle and end," Robinson said.

Creating the magazine was a big undertaking. Robinson said she established a team of six volunteers, mostly parents and teachers who she met through the writing circle, to read all the submitted stories and select which ones would appear in the magazine.

Robinson said every child who submitted a story was sent a personal letter with feedback. If their story was not selected they were encouraged to revise it and submit it again.

Skribblers is now a nonprofit organization, with eight board members. Tech Valley Printing printed the first issue of Skribblers. Robinson said the company agreed to print 11,000 copies of the magazine for free.

So far, Skribblers has been funded by donations from private individuals and PTAs. Robinson said until the magazine receives some corporate sponsorship it will be published semi-annually. Her hope is to be printing the magazine quarterly beginning in the fall of 2007.

"Writing is such an important part of a child's education," Robinson said. "I think that we start too late freeing up their voices. What I have learned from this is that children have a voice now."

The deadline for submissions to the next issue of Skribblers is Oct. 31. Robinson said there is a 1,000-word limit. Submissions can be emailed to skribblers submissions@hotmail.com or sent to P.O. Box 286, Clifton Park 12065.""

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