On Sunday, March 19th, WriteOn fellow and MFA student KrisAnne Madaus attended the NYC Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as an educator to celebrate the success of seventh grade student Neil Baidan in receiving a Silver Key for his flash fiction piece, "Dust." In the regional awards, only 7-10% of submissions are recognized with a Silver Key. Neil's high honor was recognized at the ceremony held at The New School's University Center, where his mother, father, and sister were also in attendance.
"I was thrilled to watch Neil accept his award,” Madaus said. “It's already rewarding to see students express themselves creatively through poetry and story in the classroom, but it was even more special to see Neil take his work further outside of the classroom. Because of the recognition from Scholastic, Neil's story now has a larger audience and he was able to meet other area writers outside of his own school. Teaching to impact beyond the classroom to the community is really what it's all about. I could not be more proud of him for his hard work."
Along with reading at the NYC Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, on Friday, March 24, Neil was also selected to read his work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
KrisAnne had the opportunity to co-teach Neil and his classmates at The George Jackson Academy through the WriteOn Fellowship. Through the fellowship, select MFA students gain hands-on experience teaching creative writing to underserved school children. Fellows create lesson plans for a semester-long course that focuses on student expression and success. During the semester, fellows meet weekly with their students to introduce new readings and to practice their poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
For more information about the WriteOn program, you can check out its website by clicking here.