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Sunnyvale Schools Participate in Children’s Writing Contest and Children’s Writing Workshop


The Santa Clara County Reading Council partnered with the Sunnyvale School District to host an amazing event in March 2012. The Children’s Writing Workshop was dedicated to celebrating children who love to write and children who want to become better writers! This year, the workshop began with a visit from author Jeff Savage, who has written over 150 biographies, many of them about sports stars.

Mr. Savage enchanted the students with his writing tips and stories. After Mr. Savage’s message, the students broke into grade level groups for a writing workshop that was fun and exciting! Each child completed a small writing project during this time. Meanwhile, their parents were able to attend a separate workshop to learn how to support their young authors. After the workshops, there were closing words from Jeff Savage and book buying time with Leigh’s Favorite Books from Sunnyvale.

Rachelle Romander, a 3rd Grade teacher at Vargas Elementary School and the president of Santa Clara County Reading Council (, had worked on this project during her maternity leave, rallying teachers in all Sunnyvale School District schools to encourage students and their families to participate. Approximately 120 children and their parents attended the event. Due to the large attendance, Santa Clara County Reading Council ended up partnering with San Jose Area Writing Project, who provided an additional three presenters for the event.

The writing workshop was held on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at Columbia Middle School. The cost was $10 per student. In addition to a small book bag with writing tools, and two free books for each child, a mid-morning snack was served.

In conjunction with the event, awards for the district’s annual Children’s Writing Contest were presented. All children K-8 were invited to participate, and teachers were encouraged to make it a class activity. Each teacher could submit up to three student papers. The Reading Council selected the top three of all the essays submitted for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.

Five Writing Contest winners were honored including Alessia Rella in Kathleen Meadows’ 2nd grade class at Cherry Chase Elementary School, Lauren Holloway in Lynne Norris’ 6th grade class at Sunnyvale Middle School, and Xiandria Stevenson in Keely Elizabeth Berg’s 7th grade class at Columbia Middle School. The winners received a certificate, an “envelope book” making kit, and a free book. They were also given the opportunity to attend the workshop free of charge.

This event was very successful and well-attended. Many parents at the event requested such events be offered more often. Mrs Romander said she will be looking forward to partnering with the Sunnyvale School District in the future.

Article by Nina Wong-Dobkin, Contributor: Rachelle Romander

Comments (2)

How was I supposed to know about this? If I’d known, I would have had my son participate.

Have you checked directly with your child’s school as to how it was communicated to students and parents? It would most likely have been advertised on the school website and communicated via teachers or school newsletters. All the schools encourage parents to provide their email addresses for important notifications; sometimes they are sent via PTA organizations (if the school has one) or via all-school bulletin. It varies from school to school. I realize it doesn’t help this year as the article was written after the fact. Hopefully, next year we will be advertising it far in advance! Thank you very much for your feedback.

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