Annual Short Story Project Continues After 15 years

Despite all the cancelations from COVID-19, the eighth graders at Hermosa Valley School are still working their hardest to create and write a story for each 3rd grader this year.

Created by language arts teacher Catherine Barrow, the eighth grade story project has lasted over 15 years. She was inspired to begin the project after attending a middle school English teachers conference.

“I went to a session about story writing. I adapted it to have my eighth graders write a story for the third graders since they were the youngest kids at the Valley campus at the time,” Barrow said.

Over the years, this project has evolved from 3rd grade questionnaires, to a tour with an ending book celebration in the bowl, where the eighth graders gift the stories they write for the third graders. 

Barrow and students
Catherine Barrow and current students have spent months writing and publishing their personalized stories. They will present the books to the third grade class on Monday, June 7.

“I first started researching and learning how to write a story at the beginning of March and worked through a whole month to write and revise my book,” eighth grade student Alexis H. said. “I do not think that I needed more time, as Mrs. Barrow gave me enough to learn how to create my own characters, plot and world.”

Each third grader completes a questionnaire. The writers use the information on the questionnaire to create a story that interests the third graders and also adds a personal touch.

“I cherish seeing these big eighth graders with their assigned third graders reading the book together.  Also, I love that the eighth graders who were at HVS schools when they were in third grade, fondly reminisce about receiving their books,” Barrow said.

The eighth grade students are scheduled to present their books to the third graders on Monday, June 7.