Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart County News-Herald
Students establish writing club, newspaper
In today’s society where media is often viewed as untrustworthy and posting on social media often replaces actual writing, one local teacher is working to change that by bringing new experiences to her students.
Larissa Trousdale is the 5th Grade ELA/SS teacher at Munfordville Elementary School (MES). Once she stepped into this role earlier in the school year, Trousdale soon learned that she and her students shared a common interest: writing.
“I actually love to write, and it did not take me long to realize when I came to 5th grade that several students also love to express themselves through writing,” Trousdale said. “Therefore, I wanted to give them the opportunity to show their skills and talents and make them proud to be a part of something outside of school.”
That’s when Trousdale and her students established the Writing Club at MES.
The Writing club consists of a group of students who meet after school each Wednesday. Currently, the club is only open to 5th-grade students, but Trousdale plans to open the club to other grades once a solid routine is established.
“We do different activities each time we meet,” Trousdale said. “Sometimes we write collaborative stories. Other times we create a character and develop them using a variety of character traits, and of course, we started our school newspaper.”
The school newspaper, Devil Daily Delivery, is named after the school’s mascot.
“The Devils Daily Delivery was an idea I had to teach students about writing and reporting the news,” Trousdale said. “…The students from the Writing Club voted on their Editor and Assistant Editor. They chose the title of the paper and the topics they wanted to write about and include in the paper. They also created names for their topics.”
Students work on the newspaper during the Writing Club meetings. Some students have also put forth additional work into the newspaper outside of club hours, completing their work at home or during their study hall time that is built into the school day.
“They are actually very techy, so they do all of it (the newspaper) on their own,” Trousdale said of her students. “They help each other edit their writing.”
Both the club and newspaper also allow students to be creative in their writing.
“I think it is important for all students to have a creative outlet, and the Writing Club is providing writing opportunities for that. Not only does it provide a creative outlet, but it is also providing them the opportunity to explore different types of writing,” Trousdale said. “The Devils Daily Delivery promotes knowledge of happenings in our school, community, and world. It is teaching them about finding ideas and information for their paper and reporting those ideas through writing. Most importantly, they are learning that careers exist to support their love for writing.”
Trousdale, who has worked in education for 17 years, believes students today have more obstacles to face and overcome. This is why writing, Trousdale explained, is so important for students to express their thoughts and feelings.
“They have been through two years of a pandemic. They have learned to use computers and were forced to learn online while quarantined at home,” Trousdale said. “These children have learned to overcome more than most of us can imagine. Most of the time, these students love to express themselves through writing to let go of their feelings.”
“Children may sometimes be afraid to express themselves verbally, but writing provides a platform for them in which they can express their feelings and emotions,” added Trousdale. “…Being a confident writer is a key factor to a successful student…I have seen an increase in confidence from my writers. They are happy to express themselves through writing and look forward to the opportunity to write something new. They often ask, ‘What are we doing in writing club today, Mrs. Trousdale?’…These students are kind-hearted, intelligent individuals who will someday report the news or even be the next famous author.”
Trousdale has received only positive feedback from parents and others about the Writing Club at MES. She and her students look forward to continuing their writing efforts to better themselves, their school, and the community.