Really young writers

One of my more regular gigs is lecturing on editorial writing and acting as judge in editorial writing contests of high school students. I relish these engagements because they remind me of my student days.

Yesterday however was a bit different. First I was asked to talk about newswriting -- in Filipino. And then it was not high school students but grade school students -- 10- to 13-year old kids. I was referred by the people I helped with the newswriting-English gig in NCR three weeks ago. I guess they liked what I did even though I stressed I had little practical experience with straight news.

The Metro Manila Young Writers Conference and Contests, an NCR-wide competition, was held at Fort Bonifacio Elementary School in Makati City.  The winners would compete in the national contest in Leyte in April.

I myself was an MMYWC contestant, in Pagsulat ng Balita when I was in grade five and Editorial Writing when I was in grade six. And some of those contestant looked as though they could be my Elmo's playmates on the street. I thus got a kick out of seeing them reciting the Journalists'Oath. What would the future hold for them?

Welcome to Fort Bonifacio Elementary School! The atmosphere was more festive than competitive. The school was in better shape than most public schools. 

The sight of those kids taking their oath was heart-warming.
This girl shepherded all 112 contestants to the assigned rooms for the contest.

First, they crammed themselves into the computer room for the short lecture -- though I do not like the word. "Sharing"would be more apt.

You can only teach them HOW to think, not WHAT.