For the last decade, Ettrick fourth grade teacher, Maria MacLaughlin, has been submitting student work for judging and possible inclusion in a national poetry anthology. A large percentage of her students are chosen for publication annually. The anthology, A Celebration of Poets, selects less than 50 percent of all poems in the nation for inclusion in the annual publication.
This year, her class received a letter stating that 21 students had been selected for publication. This exceeds the average acceptance and, as the letter states, “The fact that numerous students were accepted makes a strong statement about Ettrick Elementary.”
Since the number of accepted students stands out, Ettrick Elementary will be recognized in the anthology with a “Poetic Achievement Award,” an honor that is only given to the top 10 percent of schools from the national entries.
“Poetry was of exceptionally high merit,” stated the letter. The variety and quality of the poems is revealed by the titles students selected for their poems such as, “Nature and People,” “1,000 Years Ago,” “There’s a Fly in my Tea,” “The Smartest Dog in the World,” “The Fire,” and others. “We have found that schools with excellent language arts programs have a much higher percentage of their students’ writing accepted,” stated Dr. Thomas Worthen, editor. “It represents a lot of talent, hard work, and dedication from teachers.”
Students who received acceptance notification are in the process of granting permission for publication. The hardbound book will be completed in May.