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"Dear Mr. President" Writing Project at Berry Middle School

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10-31-2012 (BMS) - Do middle-schoolers really have a grasp on issues facing America?  Apparently they do, as a national essay contest is now underway in which Berry Middle School is participating.

Eighth-grade BMS Language Arts teacher Alison Parker spearheaded the effort with her students, which has encouraged them to write the next President of the United States with issues important to them.

“With the election coming up, I thought it would be interesting to have the students research the candidates and form their views on important topics in this election. We will also be participating in Edmodo votes on Friday and the students will be able to vote for the candidate of their choice," Parker said.

Whether global warming, entitlements, national debt or religion - students had their choice of issues on which to write. 

"I had no idea how the kids would respond but they loved it. I had one student who earlier in the school year was not very engaged say, “'This was the best class ever.'  My kids responded very well to this project. They loved learning about the candidates and their views. They enjoyed debating with one another about their view points."

Parker was going to leave the essay contest at just that - a writing project that sparked a class conversation on the issues.  But, she admits the quality of students letters has been spectacular.

"I am actually going to send them on to the White House and hope that I get a response," Parker said.

Winners will be announced soon - and could win any of the following prizes.  See more at Rand McNally Education

• A WorldStrides Discover Now! Trip to Washington, D.C.

• A $5,000 scholarship

• Essay published in an eBook

• $5,000 in Rand McNally product for their school

-Jason Gaston, HCS Public Relations, 205.439.1054

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