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The Times
  • Class is for students who like putting thoughts on paper

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  • Christina Moretz loves writing.
    The 15-year-old New Hartford student’s specialty: murder stories.
    “It’s really creative and you can put so much more into it,” Moretz said.
    But it’s something she really can’t get into at school.
    To quench her need for writing growth, she and other young writers attend a class Monday night at the Jewish Community Center in Utica with teacher Sarah Warring, an educational engineer for Literacy Matters.
    “The environment is so much more relaxed here rather than a classroom where they’re staring down at you,” Moretz said. “It’s definitely something to look forward to. It’s not like homework, like math. It’s more like a pastime.”
    And Monday, she and others in the enrichment program started celebrating a very important day — the fifth annual National Day on Writing.
    The day was established by the National Council of Teachers of English to increase awareness of the importance of writing instruction and practice, as well as encouraging the nation to write and enjoy the writing of others.
    Though the official holiday is today, the students and teacher described Monday what they like about writing and why they do it.
    “I love the fact that I can express different feelings,” said Warring.
    She also enjoys being able to write and rewrite portions.
    “It’s very cathartic to me,” she said.
    To Warring the students aren’t students, they’re writers, listening and helping each other improve.
    “My main focus is literacy,” Warring said. “I love to see students be creative.”
    Literacy still is a major issue in the Mohawk Valley, she said.
    And enrichment is becoming even more important with new state testing and curriculum, she added.
    In the class they discuss books and enjoy a less structured atmosphere than school, something Lucia Davis, 13, of Rome, really appreciates.
    “It doesn’t matter if you mess up,” she said. “You’re given an idea and you can follow it or not.”
    Davis’ favorite genre: science fiction.
    “I write because there are voices in my head, people are in my head and they want to be heard,” she wrote in an essay for the National Day on Writing. “There is a universe of monsters and magic, men and gods such worlds so beautiful, so terrible, such depth such life.”
    “It is beautiful the universe in my head and terrifying … it wants to be heard. It will be heard,” she wrote.
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