By TIM CLEVELAND
For the second consecutive year, Boardman library hosted a Creative Writing Camp for children entering grades 5-8 to help in expanding the writing skills of all who signed up.
This year’s camp was June 23-26, from 9-11 a.m. each day. On June 27, there was a gala in which the children read excerpts of their work for their parents. Of the 19 children who signed up on the first day, 16 ended up attending.
Youth services librarian Allie Graf and children’s librarian John Yingling conducted the camp.
“My Masters degree is in creative writing, so I wanted to find a way to use that for a program for these students,” Graf said of why the camp was started.
For the two-hour session each day, the children performed a variety of writing prompts and free writing exercises to get their minds in a creative state before they began working on their stories.
“Just really digging into our brains and seeing what we come up with,” Graf said. “It’s more about being creative and less about structure and that kind of thing.”
Wendy Owens of Boardman signed her 10-year-old daughter Madeline up for the camp.
“I saw it in the Parent Magazine and she loves to write, so I thought this would be fun,” Wendy said.
Madeline said she enjoys writing research reports, poems and songs.
Graf said an advantage of the Creative Writing Camp is it’s more open and free than what students get in writing classes at school.
“I think sometimes in school it’s so much driven by the rules of grammar and punctuation that sometimes there’s not an outlet to be really creative,” she said. “This is that kind of outlet for them to be creative and have fun with writing.”