Poet Laureate inspires student writers

Many readers know that Shelburne is fortunate to have a town Poet Laureate, Rick Bessette, the first to hold this office. Rick’s work appears in the paper, it’s engraved on the Veterans Monument on the village green, and he spends time working with community groups including students at Shelburne Community School.

He visits the school every other Friday for a writing group with fifth graders. At the end of last school year, the group talked about the Golden Rule – doing unto others as you would have them do to you. When they reconvened this fall, Rick began with that notion as the first writing prompt for the students.

The writing group picked up on the theme and ran with it.

“We also talked about ‘planting the seed of peace’ and how each one of them was like a seed to be planted and grow… to spread and share peace at home, at school and in their community,” Bessette explained. “It took them less than 30 minutes to produce wonderful, sincere, honest words that I feel our unsettled community should see. It is my hope that as Shelburne’s Poet Laureate I would somehow with the help of our young writers make this town a little nicer and more peaceful place to live.”

Here’s to that.

Eleven pieces from Rick’s Writers, all fifth graders.

Our thanks to teacher Vasanthi Meyette and literacy coordinator Jensa Bushey for sharing their students’ work with the Shelburne News and the community.

Happy Thanksgiving.
— Lisa Scagliotti, managing editor

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