February 3, 2020 Achievements

Spalding Park Elementary School celebrates its top student writers

Spalding Park Environmental Sciences Elementary fourth-grader shows off medal for an Exceptional Writer award. Photo by Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal.
Spalding Park Environmental Sciences Elementary fourth-grader shows off medal for an Exceptional Writer award. Photo by Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal.

Even though she may be a bit late to the party, Yami Perez-Bonilla is a probable shoo-in for Santa Claus’s team of elves come next Christmas.

Certainly, the Spalding Park Environmental Sciences Elementary School fourth-grader already knows how to write a compelling cover letter for the coveted gig.

“I am friendly and artistic and can stay on task,” Yami said, reading her self-written report via videotape. “That’s why I’d make a good elf.”

Yami was one of the students honored at a Writer’s Celebration ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the school.

“Approximately three times a year, a student from each Spalding Park class is selected for being an exceptional writer, and receives a medal,” Principal Mimi Moore explained. “Families are invited to a ceremony in which they can view a recording of the student reading their work.”

Wait, the kids are present at the ceremony and they have access to their writing. Why aren’t they reading their work in person?

According to Moore, younger students can experience stage fright by reading in public. Being able to pretape their reading gives them a sense of security.

That wasn’t an issue for a loquacious Yami, who didn’t mind being in the spotlight.

“Yami is good at writing because she’s a natural storyteller,” dad Alex Reposa said. “Whenever she draws or whenever she writes, Yami is telling a story.”

With her multi-point plan to impress Jolly Saint Nick, it is clear that Yami pays attention to details.

On the other hand, Radley Wheat knows how to say things with brevity.

The kindergartner’s report on Christmas amounted to a few sentences on the joys of getting gifts.

“Radley knows how to get her point across,” said mom Ashley Wheat, who is also a Spalding Park instructional coach.

However, Radley is more of an artist than a writer. She’s also a bit of a fashionista.

When asked about the pink and purple strands in her hair, Radley said they are her favorite colors.

We don’t know Zephyr Beckwith’s favorite colors but we do know his favorite restaurant.

The fourth-grader’s report on Culver’s earned him recognition as a writer.

“I like their food and I like the token you get from a kids’ meal,” Zephyr said. “If you collect enough tokens, you can trade it in for a toy.”

But Zephyr isn’t just interested in food or toys. He’s also a fan of “Naruto,” a Japanese anime series about a boy Ninja and he enjoys building things out of LEGO.

Despite earning a medal for it, Zephyr said writing isn’t his favorite thing to do.

“I like math and science better,”  he said.

This puts him at odds with his classmate Yami, who said writing is one of her favorite things to do.

So, what did Yami like best about having her writing spotlighted?

“I liked getting a medal,” she said.

Was there a downside to the experience?

“I didn’t like the video of me reading,” Yami said. “That wasn’t my favorite.”

View the full article by Early Horlyk on the Sioux City Journal.

Photo by Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal.