Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Anclote Elementary rewards budding writers


Preparations for the Author's Tea had Beatrix Pulido and her cohorts rolling out the red carpet — literally — and setting an October table for 64 in the cafeteria at Anclote Elementary School. Smiling plastic jack-o'-lanterns and construction-paper autumn leaves adorned the long tables that were covered with forest green tablecloths. There were snacks nicely laid out: animal crackers, pretzels and cartons of juice along with a smattering of candy corn and chocolate kisses.

This was all for the 32 award-winning authors in kindergarten to fifth grade who would walk down a red paper carpet as their "buddies" in the audience offered up a table drumroll and sang a simple song that Pulido (a.k.a. the "Reading Lady") taught them just minutes before.

"Here come the authors, Anclote authors. Here come the authors right along."

The Author's Tea is a monthly celebration of Anclote's budding writers and a special "buddy" they get to invite along and perhaps inspire.

Each month students submit a piece they have written, said Pulido, the reading and writing specialist at Anclote.

"It could be a writing journal piece they've been working on or a classroom writing prompt," Pulido said. "For a kindergarten student it could be just one or two sentences that they've written. That's a big deal." Classroom teachers then choose one student's work to spotlight from that pool.

The program, launched last year, is modeled after similar programs in the school district and is already showing some success, Pulido said.

"Motivation has increased," she said. "The students are really excited about sharing their work with their peers. And it's been a good way to get the buddies on the bandwagon. They come as a guest but want to come again as an author. We're building a community of writers here at Anclote."

No doubt it's a way to shine a light on those who have spun a good yarn or worked hard to improve their writing skills. Maybe they mastered "the hook" that made their teacher want to read more, Pulido said. Maybe it was a razzle-dazzle word they used in their story or a surprise ending.

For second-grader Karissa Gutzdorf, 7, it was the adjectives "hard" and "juicy" and one descriptive sentence that she wrote in her story about an apple that her mom had placed on her pillow for a job well done.

"If I see a tasty apple I feel something so good inside my throat."

"I really liked that sentence," said Karissa's teacher, Karen Hennen. "It made me want to eat that apple."

Karissa, who names Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones series as her favorite books, got a chance to read her story, A Tasty Apple for Me, during the tea after Pulido pulled her name out of a pumpkin.

"I really liked it," said Karissa, a former reluctant writer who has improved leaps and bounds this school year. "I like that I could share my writing." She now makes it a priority to write in her journal every day after she finishes her homework.

Sharing is a big part of it, said Pulido, noting that the event is not geared toward the formulaic writing of the Florida Writes test.

"We're moving away from that and moving toward things like the writers workshop," she said. "We want students to talk and share their stories. We want them to share their prewriting strategies like brainstorming and graphic organizing. They in turn get feedback from the other writers and the buddies about their stories. They talk and share ideas and they grow."

Anclote Elementary rewards budding writers 10/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  3. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records
  4. Fourth of July in Tampa Bay: parades, hot dog parties, concerts and more things to do


    Looking for things to do on the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay? There is no shortage of patriotic events, from the Hot Dog Party concerts and eating contest in Tampa, to the parades in Land O' Lakes and Safety Harbor, to the swinging dance party at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine arts, there's an abundance of things to do …

    The annual Independence Day parade in Brandon kicks off at 10 a.m. on July 4 at 101 E Lumsden Road. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times (2015)]
  5. Pasco deputies investigate vandalism at Crystal Springs Cemetery (w/video)


    CRYSTAL SPRINGS — Pasco County deputies are looking for one or more suspects linked to vandalism of two grave sites in this community's small cemetery.

    An above-ground tomb disturbed by one or more suspects, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.