Just as Mark Twain made the Mississippi River famous in his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Westwood High School “River Writers” Team is going to make the Flint River memorable in our first chapter of the Immersion Project 2009. This group consists of two leaders, Ms. Betsy C.
and Mrs. Meg W.
, along with 15 high school students from grades 9-12. We fifteen students were selected from the entire student body after filling out an application expressing an interest in this English project. During the week of May 11, 2009, the Flint River will play host to us as we explore, gather, and process information.
When interviewed about the project, Mrs. Meg commented that she was “looking forward to working with the students in a nontraditional classroom setting.” Ms. Betsy is anxious to “see the creative power of the students who will be photographing, sketching, and writing poetry.” Mrs. Engra W. will also be working with the artists of the group. The members of the group are Freshmen Virginia V.
and Miller S.
; Sophomores Will B.
and Skylar W.
, and Shelby K.
; Juniors Lindsey C.
, Sarah H., Kaitlyn H.
, Ilissa T., and Hilliary J.
; and Seniors Katie B.
, Matt T., and Kayla C.
This project has several components. We will tap into our creativity by photographing the river and capturing its beauty in sketches and paintings. We will also have the opportunity to create poems about the river while we are working in the field. In another phase of the project, we hope to learn more about the influence of the river on a group of adults who will be interviewed about their connection to and memories of growing up under the spell of the Flint River.
Mrs. Vicki Davis will be a vital part of the project. She will guide us through the technological aspects of the presentation. The project includes using the Ning that Mrs. Vicki created, videoing and editing the interviews, and creating a newsletter to summarize and share our group’s reflections as we make our way through the project.
Of course, we are planning some relaxing down-time during the week in order to set the mood so that our creative energies can come to the forefront. We will be canoeing, picnicking, and taking nature walks along the banks of the river.
In our final presentation, members of this group will share the video of our interviews, read poems and narratives, and display photographs, sketches, and paintings. Our group is looking forward to this experience of learning and sharing. A river does run through our county and our lives, and we are excited about getting to know the Flint on a more personal level.