Thornton Academy Trojan News

#WhyIWrite: TA students celebrate the National Day of Writing

Posted by Katy Nicketakis on Oct 20, 2017 2:41:24 PM
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To recognize the National Day on Writing, English classes at Thornton Academy celebrated the power of the written word through presentations by published authors and an activity designed to show how individual voice can empower and unite people.  The National Day on Writing is sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

#whyiwrite5.jpgSenior Tung Trinh participates in #WhyIWrite activties and prepares to glue his popsicle stick to the tower of words.  

English teachers Barbara Barklow and Hope Hall organized the day to get the TA community to realize that we all write for different reasons and to celebrate the personal journey of writing.  Hall says, “the more voices we can bring together, the more empowered we become.”  

Classes met in the library to hear presentations from published authors around the theme of “Why I Write.”  Presenters included Joanne Arnold, Frederick Lipp, TA teacher David Arenstam, and Isabel Neal. 


Joanne Arnold has spent 10 years photographing and documenting the words of individuals in Southern Maine who typically don’t have a voice. She inspired TA students to pursue social justice and reminded them of the power of each individual voice.  


Frederick Lipp is a world-renowned children’s book author who writes stories that celebrate diversity, acceptance, and becoming empowered to offer unique voices to the world even when there is fear of silence. He challenged TA students to “find the fire within you that wants you to write.” He shared his writing secret with the students; “All writing comes down to a moment when an alarm goes off telling you something that ignites you.”



Author Frederick Lipp motivates students to find the fire within them that pushes them to write. 



TA students loved Mr. Lipp's presentation and thanked him for inspiring them. 


 Hall organized an activity in the school’s atrium where students wrote an answer to #WhyIWrite on a popsicle stick, and then glued them together to make a tower representing the power of joined voices. She encouraged the students to “use your voice to make the tower grow higher.” As the day ended, the tower stretched high above the atrium, having joined many students together.


Senior Alexander Woodburn participated in the #WhyIWrite project and monitored the popsicle stick tower.  In addition to his studies at TA, Woodburn writes short stories and is currently working on a novel.  His goal is to become a published author and help “imagination spark to life with what they read in books.”



Senior Miranda Rose answers the question "Why I Write" on her popsicle stick. 



The completed #WhyIWrite tree brings student voice to life.  

Get involved and share with #WhyIWrite ! 



Topics: community, upper school, writing