School publications is known for writing and editing the BCUSD website, fundraising in the school, and working with our wonderful staff member Ms. Stine on photo albums. For two weeks the class shifted their focus and wrote letters to President Donald Trump or other members of his cabinet. This is Mr. Redden’s second year using this project, and he believes that the students learn a lot about the world around them and the way that the political system operates with this unit. He also said that he believes students really enjoy this project and the freedom of being able to write about something they are passionate about.
To begin this writing project the students first read six letters from the book Letters to the President by Dwight Young. The letters were written by an array of people, that ranged from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Women of the Klu Klux Klan. The class then began the creative process by talking with Mr. Redden about what they wanted to write about and also how they planned to carry out the research needed to construct their letter. After research was complete and sources were checked, they began typing the letter that would be sent to the White House and seen by a member of the White House staff.
Last year, when the students wrote letters to President Obama, many received emails that looked very similar. When it took longer for junior Chloe Carson to receive feedback they began to wonder. Then seven weeks after everyone else had received the automated email, Chloe received a letter with an official White House letterhead and a signature from President Obama. The letter thanked Ms. Carson for submitting her letter; later on Chloe’s letter would be used in online for the New York Times and in a policy meeting. With students writing about many controversial issues such as travel bans, military acceptance, economic insecurity, and the availability of jobs in rural America, there is always a chance of receiving an interesting response.
By Jeffrey Kelly
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