National Day on Writing (Caroline Lawrence)

October- a month known for crackly leaves, sweet, pulpy pumpkins, and trick-or-treating on a chilly night.  Now, autumn lovers everywhere can add writing to this list of fall festivities!  Two years ago, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution S.298, officially proclaiming October 20 as National Day on Writing.  Popularized by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), it has come to be celebrated in schools nationwide.

According to NCTE, National Day on Writing was established to “draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in.”  It centers around the appreciation of the written word and stresses the importance of writing for pleasure, not just out of necessity.

During the week leading up to this day, Centennial featured poems on morning announcements.  On October 20, a banner announcing the holiday was put up in the cafeteria window.  Students of Mr. O’Brien’s Advanced Composition class raced through the lunch room during fourth period in handmade T-shirts that read, “Why Write?”  They thrust notebooks and pens in front of other students, asking them to write haikus.  While many were surprised by this request, the mood was jovial and happy, Advanced Comp definitely compiled some interesting poetry!

Mr. O’Brien, leader of the National Day on Writing celebration at Centennial, feels very strongly about this holiday.  When asked to explain its meaning, he tilted his head, as if searching for the right words.  “My answer would undermine the importance of writing in our lives,” he said. “Writing is breathing.  Try to describe the importance of breathing.

Various English classes at CHS observed National Day on Writing with “story time,” add-a-line stories, or an opportunity for students to write freely.

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