Mother's Day Essays: The Back Story

The yeoman efforts of many Dundalk Elementary School staff members made the Mother's Day essay project possible.


It's an extremely busy time of year, with proms, weddings, picnics, cookouts and any number of outdoor projects vying for our time and attention.

Most of us are booked to the hilt, and few of us need anything extra thrown at us.

Teachers probably feel the strain more at this time of the school year than any other time, so I wanted to make sure I thank the kind and dedicated folks at Dundalk Elementary School.

When I announced that I would publish Mother's Day essays contributed by Dundalk Patch readers, I also thought it would be great to involve local students in that effort.

A friend put me in touch with Margie Lookingbill, a prekindergarten teacher at Dundalk.

I floated the idea of enlisting a couple of classes to write essays, and she said she would run the idea by the school principal.

I made my request on May 3, a scant 10 days—and far fewer school days—from Mother's Day.

On Monday, May 7, Margie sent me an email to tell me that three classes were participating and essays would be forthcoming.

On Wednesday, she wrote to say I could pick up the essays the next day, at which time I also made arrangements to take head shots of each student.

While I was at the school, I was impressed with the well-behaved students, whether they were the patient kids lined up waiting to be photographed, or other classes traveling through the halls moving from class to class.

I also have to say that I was impressed with the writing skills of the essay writers.

Some of the young writers used similes and metaphors in their work (I remember becoming truly aware of metaphors and similes in eighth grade), and many created nice visual images by painting with their words.

So here's a shout-out to Dundalk Principal Barbara McLennan, third-grade teachers Katie Karpus and Laura Christian and second-grade teacher Char Bandell, the 24 young writers and their parents.

And a special shout-out goes to Margie Lookingbill, who headed the effort even though her own students were too young to participate.

If you didn't get a chance over the weekend to read the young bards' work, please scroll through them today—I'm sure they wouldn't mind a little praise!

And who knows? Years from now, when one of them is a well-known novelist, I can say I was the first to publish his or her work!


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