A 20-year tradition, recognizing the power of words, continued at Shawnee Mission West High School on Oct. 19. Students hosted the school’s annual Writer’s Walk or Fall Festival of Words in the school courtyard, giving peers opportunities to write, read, and listen to the written word.
“This event is important for all our students to show that poetry is a really good way to express your feelings,” Cole Johnson, event organizer and senior said.
Students created posters featuring original poetry or favorite author quotes and decorated the walls of the courtyard.
In one location, students were able to write a thank you note to a veteran or write a note of encouragement to a patient at Children’s Mercy.
At other booths, they could write about their culture or write a wish on a leaf and hang it on a tree, pop a balloon and receive a quote, or write their own sentiments or thoughts on pumpkins. One of the highest-traffic locations was an area where student-written anonymous secrets were collected, read and then thrown in a fire.
“The point is to leave the negative in the past and move on,” Emmy Goff, senior and third-year Writer’s Workshop student, said.
During the second half of the event, students listened to peers share and perform original poetry.
“This annual event is so important to give our students a voice. They don’t have many opportunities to express themselves in writing,” Ann Flurry, Writer’s Workshop teacher said.