Charter school students win poetry contest

Left to right: Brayden Beserock, Ben Luther, Sean Thiersaint and Ariyah Chaddick are fourth-graders in Stafford’s gifted education class. They are being published in The Young American Poetry Digest as part of the National Schools Project contest.

Poetry can be a literary art form that confounds even the best writers, but students at The Villages Elementary School have proven that age does not determine ability when it comes to writing. 

Shari Stafford, a gifted education teacher at the elementary school, submitted multiple poems from each of her students to the National Schools Project contest, a national poetry competition for students across the U.S. Stafford has nominated students for this for three years after being referred to it by a colleague. The competition includes submissions being judged and chosen to be printed in this year’s The Young American Poetry Digest.

Stafford said she was shocked when not just a few but all of her 43 students who had entered had at least one of their poems selected to be published. A copy of the digest will be given to the school’s library so future students can look upon and learn from it. Those winning this year also are offered the chance to purchase the book.

Read this story and many others in Monday's edition of the Daily Sun.