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Student writers take center stage at annual symposium

Student authors were put in the spotlight Tuesday night during the third annual Demopolis City School’s Young Authors Showcase Symposium.

The symposium features the written works of students in each grade, from kindergarten through twelfth, and was sponsored by the DCSS, Dempolis Public Library and the Demopolis Parent/Teacher Association.

Dr. Joe Savage, author of two books, was the symposium’s keynote speaker.

This year’s featured author and keynote speaker was Dr. Joe Savage who is also the founder and executive director of Roads of Hope, an organization that provides safe houses for at-risk orphaned girls. His latest book it titled, “We Forgot! The 7 Unlearned Lessons of 9/11.” He has spoken to organizations around the world.

A former college athlete, Savage spoke to the young authors, saying it is important that they continue to write, citing the many different mediums through which writers have influence.

“Athletes have influence, but writers have lasting influence,” he said. “So many things influence us, but without writers we wouldn’t have those things. Without writers we wouldn’t have the Bible, the most influential book in my life. Writing is an awesome gift.”

He added that by learning about a topic and writing about it, an author can spread knowledge.

“When you learn and can write in such a way that people can understand it, you become an authority (on that topic).

“All parents and guardians should encourage their kids to write … we need great writers and I believe the greatest writers in the world can come from Demopolis, Alabama,” Savage said.

Following the speaker, the student authors and audience moved to the DHS gymnasium where their works were displayed.

The student authors featured were:

Westside Elementary — Connor Swims, kindergarten, “Valentine’s Day;” Carlee McCants, kindergarten, “I Love My Mom;” Anescia Long, first grade, “Insects;” Jesse Creel, first grade, “How to Brush Your Teeth;” Trevion Williams, second grade, “If I Were the President;” and Sarah Waid Wright, second grade, “Why the Snapping Turtle Snaps.”

U.S. Jones Elementary — Lawson Boone, third grade, “I Have a Dream;” Serena Pham, third grade, “Our Own Adventure;” Connor Reynolds, fourth grade, “The Christmas Conniption;” Jakayla Rowser, fourth grade, “The Secret Admirer;” Sarah Helms, fifth grade, “Nez Perce Tribe;” Jared Sawyer, fifth grade, “The Cherokee Tribe.”

Demopolis Middle School — Anna Braswell Malone, sixth grade, “The Golden Cave;” Taliah Isaac, sixth grade, “Things I Love to Do;” Johnny Julian, seventh grade, “Look Past the Shadow;” Amber Abernathy, seventh grade, “Unexpected (A Sneak Peak);” Ra’Shelle Irvin, eighth grade, “The Eliza Battle Legend;” and Alley Eaves, eighth grade, “The Effect of Rhetorical Devices.”

Demopolis High School — Mary White, ninth grade, “The Price You Pay;” Tori Horne, ninth grade, “Friendship;” April Averette, tenth grade, “Magic and Jealousy;” Brett Schroeder, tenth grade, “Not Yet;” Laura Thomason, eleventh grade, “The Woods;” Patrick Hall, eleventh grade, “A Fragile Heart;” Stefan McCall, twelfth grade, “The Hills;” and Jamia Washington, twelfth grade, “Successful Young Woman.”

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, April 7 issue of the Demopolis Times.)