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Students encouraged to interview artists
Sheri Roberts, center, was back in the classroom to encourage writing about the arts.

Artist, poet and retired teacher Sheri Roberts recently challenged Hickman County High sophomores to get out of the classroom, find local artists and pick their brains. Then write a short (one page) essay. It's all about the arts - and it's all about winning $$.

This year's Virginia Jewell Writing Award will go to the students who write the best essay on what role the arts have played in a list of local artists and historians.

Roberts handed out a list of names of potential subjects and possible questions to students in Mr. Wells' class. Questions like "What have you contributed to the arts in this community? and "Why is it important to get young people involved in the arts?" were just two of her suggestions. She encouraged students to be creative and include pictures of their subject's work or of the artist in action.

The winner will receive $75. The second place essay will receive $25. 

The Virginia Jewel Writing Award was established by the Hickman County Arts Council to celebrate the life of writer, historian and beloved citizen of Clinton Virginia Jewell.  Mrs. Jewell was a staunch supporter of the arts in Hickman County until her death in January 2007.

The 2011 essay contest targeted elementary students. Fifth grade students toured the Hickman County Museum. Students were challenged to write stories about one item they saw.

Roberts, who has chaired the essay contest, works with the schools to vary the age of essayists. A retired English teacher, she goes into the classroom to work directly with students on the project

A local writer interviewed by a student for their essay commented, "Wow. There were some hard questions. I had to stop and think."



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