GLOVERSVILLE — Boulevard Elementary School’s Writing and Illustration Club students presented original stories and drawings at the Gloversville Public Library earlier this week.
The 18 third and fourth grade students who participated in the new club have been developing unique stories over the past two months. Tuesday, the children each took the stage to read their work to an audience of about 75 people at the Gloversville Public Library.
Lisa Gutta, the art teacher at Boulevard Elementary, said she loves to write and draw, which spurred her to create the club.
“I think it’s a big deal, it takes a lot of bravery to read out loud to a crowd of people,” Gutta said. “It takes a lot of imagination and dedication to want to come back and keep writing a story. I’m really proud of the kiddos.”
The students met regularly over the past two months to develop story ideas and create drawings and illustrations to go along with their work.
“A lot of them went horror, but we’ve got comedy, we’ve got biographies. They all approached it in different formats,” Gutta said. “One person wrote theirs in first person, one person wrote it as a play, one wrote as if it’s journal entries. They really all took it in a very unique direction.”
Gutta created the club this year and she said she hopes to continue it in the future.
“The kids loved it, they had a blast,” Gutta said. “I didn’t know if the interest was going to wane throughout the weeks, but they seemed engaged every week, and the kids were kind of disappointed, like ‘oh we’re not going to be meeting anymore’ at the end. I was really impressed with the writing that was coming out of them.”
Literacy is an important skill for children to develop at this age, Gutta said.
She presented each student with bound copies of their work, which she gave them after each student read their stories.
“From an art teacher’s perspective, imagination, creation, those are [some] of the most important skills to have across the board no matter what you want to do,” Gutta said. “Public speaking is another one that’s important to have, putting yourself out there, meeting kids that you don’t necessarily interact with all the time.”
Students helped critique each other’s work, and created illustrations to go along with their stories.
Jackson Perron, 9, said he had a lot of fun writing his story, even when he was unsure what he wanted to write about at first.
“On the first day I didn’t really know what to write,” Perron said. “I was just like thinking and then I started typing about a llama, and I was like, ‘Where can I go from here?’”
Perron’s story quickly became a unique comedy tale about a llama’s peril when faced with an evil alpaca.
“I wrote about a llama and an alpaca, and the alpaca turns out to be bad in the end,” Perron said. “It’s supposed to be this funny story where the alpaca tricks the llama into going into his secret lair where she’s tortured and hung over a pit of lava.”
A number of students said they were a little nervous to stand up in front of a crowd and read their stories, but 9-year-old Braylin shared her story first, a piece she wrote about her local community.
“We have parks that we can play at, and houses too,” Braylin said. “We have little houses and big houses, and medium-sized houses. There are all sorts of houses. The last place I want to mention is the library. We can get books there and return them. I like to get books from the library, but am sad to bring them back because they are so good.”