Journal Reporter Speaks to Class at Knoxville Christian School
by Staff Reports
The last day of school for Robin Flourney’s 5th grade class at Knoxville Christian School on Snyder Road was typical for the end of the year. The students were hanging around on a rug watching an instructional video about the founding of America. They were also watching the clock tick hoping it would hurry and reach 11:30 a.m so they would be free for the summer. Little did they know that a special visitor was going to show up.
During the school year, Mrs. Flourney’s class read the book Watermelon for Everyone, written by Journal staff writer, Martha Rose Woodward, and illustrated by staff production manager and graphic artist, Pat Griffeth. The class completed a unit of study using the book as a guide.
Gary Bickford, grandfather of Bailey Watson, a student in Flourney’s class, purchased a book for each of the 9 students in the class and one for Ms. Flourney. Journal reporter, Martha Woodward, was contacted by Gary Bickford about making a surprise visit to the classroom as a reward for the students for having a great year at school. When Woodward arrived in the classroom the students were delighted.
Woodward spent about an hour with the class discussing the process of writing and telling the students about various adventures she had while working as a reporter. “Always expect your writing to be checked and always expect to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite,” Woodward said. “Rewriting is a big part of the process of working on a book.”
Flourney announced that all of the students in her class had passed the Tennessee State Writing Assessment Test and two had scored in the excellent range. Two students told Ms. Woodward that they wanted to be writers when they grow up.
Flourney showed Woodward examples of the work the students did using the ideas in her book. “We love your book,” they said. “It’s cool.”
Woodward encouraged the students to write and to enjoy the summer. “The children were eager to learn and asked appropriate questions,” said Woodward. “They were also very polite and well-spoken. It was a joy for me to get to be with them.”