With five advanced placement courses, Middletown resident Megan Kelly, 18, has her school year booked.
But this summer instead of just hitting the books, Kelly has helped students create their own short-story books during a Summer Write-Away program.
In a weekly reading program, students who will be entering grades third through sixth drafted, laid out, wrote, illustrated and will present their pieces of literary works that have been in the works since June.
Kelly said her reading program has been in the works since April after discussing multiple ideas for her Gold Award. Kelly, an editor of the Middletown High School South's newspaper, ‘The Eagle Eye’, found the program to be a natural fit.
“I corrected some of the grammar with the books otherwise students worked a lot on their own with the story board and creative process,” Kelly said.
The summer long program ranged in class sizes, week-by-week, from 10 to 19 students, each of which brought creative ideas to the storyboard.
“Some of the students wrote fiction and fantasy stories while one wrote a mystery story,” Kelly said. “They are a really creative bunch. Some even wrote chapter books. One student wrote 16 pages single spaced book and that was before photos were added.”
Books about mermaids, princesses, monsters and even a short story about a cat, a rabbit and a wolf venturing through the woods scattered the tables in the Library as students illustrated their books.
Students will be presenting their literary works in a reading recital on Tuesday, August 28 in the library's Community Room.
In order to earn the Gold Award the scouts had to "utilize their leadership skills learned through Girl Scouting to address and raise awareness of a specific issue within their community," a release from the Girl Scouts said. Recipients of the award are required to spend at least 80 hours working on their project, which, "should have a lasting impact on the girl's community."
This program is not only allowing for the students to use their creativity and create books but students have also worked on their technological skills, said Senior Children’s Librarian at the Middletown Township Public Library Jennifer Salt.
During one session, the played a typing game to get them more familiar with typing and the computer and many of the these typed their books on their own, Salt said.
“They learned keyboarding skills as well as basic computer skills, which are both very important, while typing their own stories in the library’s computer lab,” Salt said.
Kelly said she hopes to continue this program throughout the school year.
“Many of the students ended their books with ‘to be continued’ because they either ran out of time typing or they haven’t created their rest of their story yet so I would like to give them the opportunity to write their ‘to be continued’ books,” Kelly said.