Providing young authors a place to publish their work. This site enables students to connect and communicate with one another other in a safe, creative online environment.
This is a story about my life I am a girl who can’t sleep at night ,
I try to sleep through all this pain my heart and soul just goes insane,
But when I think about that night it always brings me back with a fright,
God knows if I only can wish it away but these are the circumstances I have to pay,
A wise lady told me you reap what you sow and now I know,
I didn’t know he would die that fast after she told me that I thought he would had last,
It made me regret all the things I did wrong so I started to write them down into a song,
But the song didn’t last because I started to cry again, again and again until that year passed,
But even though I can’t remember all things I did with him I know one thing this is not the end,
He away told me never to frown unless the whole world was upside down,
But in the end of this story will always began,
But only with a new author writing it………
So writes Cherelle Harmon, 13, an 8th-grader at Patterson Park Public Charter School. As a member of the school’s Ed Tech (education technology) club, Harmon has shared this poem with the online world, at the club’s own Web site, www.elsewhereonline.org.
The site’s name, Elsewhere, comes from a Lois Lowry novel, “The Giver.”
“The main character, Jonas, lives in a community, and all he knows is the community,” explains Ed Tech member Amel Evans, 13. “He didn’t know anything outside the community, but later he found out.”
“There are more things to discover,” adds Mecca Lewis, 14. “[At Elsewhere] people have a place where they can discover more things—other people’s work.”
For those who wish to discover Greektown, Lewis, who lives there herself, sums it up, tongue in cheek (we think):
Those who DO know better to come into our neighborhood weirded out. They take one hot look at us and they end up staring for hours. Greektown is the most entertaining place in Baltimore City. You have your old Greek people, your loud African Americans with several bad children, the cool and quiet Latinos that leave they’re door open for everyone to see their things, your miscellaneous Caucasian fellows who go to the bar 24/7.
On the weekends everyone is at the bar shouting, “WOO-HOO!” and watching the football games or just being dumb and drunk. In Greektown on school days I’m missing out on all the funny drama and bickering between the neighbors. Maybe if they had jobs they could do something with their lives then sit around, yell, or smoke. It might be pretty mellow if they stop. I still love it because we replaced our cable with “Greektown Live”. Yeah, that’s how it goes.
Students from all over are encouraged to submit their work; the Ed Tech club reviews it and decides what to publish.
Language Arts teacher Jenna Shaw, advisor to the group, notes that the club focuses equally on writing and technology.
“They all have Gmail accounts,” she said. “With the school email, we can do everything online; it changes the way we collaborate.
Shaw’s classroom recently received a large donation of Chromebooks, laptops running a Google Chrome operating system. There are enough for every student in her classroom to use one.
“We are the first classroom in Baltimore City to have a one-to-one Chromebook program,” Shaw says.
“They got the best computers right before we’re leaving!” jokes Cherelle Harmon.
Other members of Ed Tech include 15-year-old Amber Gordon, who has her own blog.
“Basically, I write about how my day went,” she says. “I just read over it and see what went wrong, what went right, and what I can do better in that situation.”
Shanteria Thomas, 14, enjoys writing on her laptop. “Every now and then, I write about fantasy, real life, and my friends,” she says.
“Writing is a way to connect to people,” says Amel Evans. “It’s a good way to get your feelings down, when you don’t want to do it verbally.”
To see more work from Patterson Park Public Charter School students and beyond, visit www.elsewhereonline.org.
by Erik Zygmont