Highland News Leader

Young authors will represent Highland at county, state conferences

Jack Grotefendt, a sixth-grader at Highland Middle School, as well as HMS seventh-graders Joanna Fogg and Julia McPhillips, will represent the Highland School District at the 44th annual Illinois Statewide Young Authors’ Conference.

Co-sponsored by the Illinois Language and Literacy Council and Illinois Reading Council, the conference is a celebration of the written work of children in kindergarten through eighth grade. It will be held at Normal West High School in Normal, Ill., on May 19.

The purpose of the conference is to support classroom teachers in their efforts to encourage and improve students’ abilities in writing, reading, listening, and sharing, and to recognize the accomplishments of young authors. All children in kindergarten through eighth grade, including those in special programs, are encouraged to participate.

Young authors selected by their local schools and districts will be invited to attend a one-day statewide conference where their books will be read, discussed, and affixed with the official seal of the Young Authors’ Conference. The Young Authors’ Conference will emphasize language as a vehicle for communication with others. In small groups, children will be encouraged to share ideas with noted children’s authors, educators, and other young authors.

Adults who accompany children to the conference will be invited to a session designed to further their insights into children’s writing.

Madison County Conference

Grotefendt, Fogg and McPhillips will also be among the aspiring writers from the Highland School District at the Madison County Regional Office of Education's 28th annual Young Authors’ Conference. The conference will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at Edwardsville High School.

The purpose of this conference is to recognize student authors for their success in writing stories and poems during the 2017-2018 school year. Approximately 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, representing both public and private schools throughout Madison County, are involved in this event.

This year, storyteller and author Oba William King will be the featured presenter. King is "The Poetic Storyteller," a phenomenal performer, showman and consummate entertainer. He brings stories, poetry and cultural songs to life through his interactive, dynamic presentations. His most significant influence in the art of storytelling came as a result of his sojourn to Benin, West Africa, resulting in solo performances to share and celebrate his original anthem, “I Love My People”. His recent books include" Firefly and Little Star," a storybook for young readers, and "R.E.A.D.," which is designed for pre-teens.

Other Highland Middle School students selected for the Madison County Conference were:

  • Taylor Dressler from Mrs. Carlson's sixth-grade class;

  • MariEva Mallrich from Mrs. Smith's seventh-grade class; and
  • Grace Hanvey from Mrs. Smith's seventh-grade class.

Highland Elementary students selected for the Madison County Conference were:

  • Dylan Horan from Mrs. Thies' third-grade class;

  • Alyssa Bottom from Ms. Favre's third-grade class;

  • Lilah McCall from Mrs. Becker's fourth-grade class;

  • Maddie Molitor from Mrs. Brown's fourth-grade class;

  • Grace Fenton from Mrs. Cotto's fifth-grade class; and

  • Joshua Athmer from Mrs. Spies' fifth-grade class.

Highland Primary students selected for the Madison County Conference were:

  • Eli Dunkle from Mrs. Elliott's kindergarten class;

  • Jakob Becker from Miss Simmons' kindergarten class;

  • Ethan Pacatte, from Mrs. Geest's first-grade class;

  • Katie Fenton from Mrs. Smith's first-grade class;

  • Lillian Behl from Mrs. Sinnock's second-grade class;

  • Brianna Weiss from Mrs. Laird's second-grade class.