At the same time, 10 eighth graders are entering Brandy Woodall’s classroom and they seem just as excited to be there. Most people might never guess the kids were there for an after-school club Woodall started to improve their writing skills, of all things.
Woodall formed the creative writing club last year and most of the original members are still involved, as well as a few new recruits. She said she had wanted to start it because the kids who were interested could improve their writing skills in a way that goes beyond what the requirements of class. It didn’t take long before several students joined and the club got off the ground. All of a sudden, kids who had never had much of a reason to socialize with one another were brought together through their common interests.
“It’s a diverse group,” Woodall said. “Most of them became friends through the club. It’s a safe environment where you don’t have to worry what others think.” She added later, “Through trust, they’ve developed a bond and they’ve been friends ever since.”
If you’re looking for some pretentious, high-concept reasons for being in the club among the members, you won’t find it. After all, they aren’t even in high school yet and don’t seem to be looking to impress anyone on a college application. They simply enjoy writing.
Danika Patel said she likes to write to home and thought she might as well join the creative writing club because she didn’t have much else to do after school. Cassie Whitt said she wants to become a journalist and wanted to practice any kind of writing she could.
“I just like making up stories,” Summer Bush said.
Fay Therea said that writing and sharing her work in the club gives her an interesting perspective on her fellow writers.
“Even though some the members are new, it kind of shows you how they think and it allows you to learn about others,” she said.
The members have worked on a variety things since the club began, including a series of essays they called “Cadiz Anthems.” The essays are about what makes Cadiz unique and several of them focus on the Trigg County Country Ham Festival, Woodall said. Another teacher at the school, Kay Wyatt, volunteered to help out with the club and said she was planning to submit the students’ work to a magazine called Teen Ink. Wyatt said the magazine publishes short stories, opinion pieces and nonfiction articles by teenagers.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.