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Young poets shine: Students see their work in national publication

It is not every day that elementary school students have their poetry published, but recently several of Maria Maynard's Scotia-Glenville students earned that honor.

Their poems were entered in a national contest and will be published in a book titled A Celebration of Young Poets " that's an accomplishment Maynard said she is very proud of.

"All of my students worked hard on this project, and several were lucky enough to have their work published," said Maynard.

Creative Communications, a company based in Logan, Utah, sponsors the contest, which chooses about 45 percent of the entries to be published.

Every year, Maynard said, she had her students seek inspiration for their poems from the artwork of Norman Rockwell, something she called a double whammy " mixing poetry and art.

Creative Communication collects hundreds of ideas from teachers across the country to promote poetry in the classroom. Those ideas are organized in a bi-annual newsletter called "Poetic Power." This newsletter includes poems like the ones submitted by Maynard.

Maynard works as an enrichment specialist for the district, and spends time specifically with students involved in OPAL, or Opportunities and Programming for Advanced Learners.

OPAL involves students in programs such as Odyssey of The Mind, honors courses and Symatech, a math and science program. The enrichment programs touch upon the arts, English, math and science.

The philosophy of OPAL is to challenge students at all grade levels and in all disciplines. The objective is for students to gain self-esteem as they work at a high learning level. Students are placed in the programs through referrals from teachers.

Maynard said the published poetry is an example of how successful OPAL is.

One of the pieces published included a poem by Lincoln Elementary School's Bridget Arndt, a fifth grade student. Arndt wrote a poem inspired by the Rockwell painting "Man Dancing with Woman."

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