After writing furiously for all of November and working hard on story revisions in December, students and teachers alike experienced the exhaustion that comes with pouring energy and passion into a project for an extended period of time! Chinquapin’s 70 middle school students wrote a combined 512,731 words during the month of November, and together they raised $3,039 to support student enrichment programs and operating costs at Chinquapin. Each one of them is grateful for your contributions!
Our students had many things they wanted to say to those who supported their NaNoWriMo work. One student, impressed by the amount raised, wrote, “I’m surprised people actually donated all of that because I wrote words on a screen. It’ll definitely help Chinquapin, though. So thank you, and I’m glad you wanted to support me and NaNoWriMo.” Another shared that the fundraiser “was like motivation to keep writing” and a classmate added that the encouragement helped us all to work as “hard as possible on our books even when things got difficult for some of us.” Many expressed the importance of knowing that you “believed in kids in writing books” and shared that they considered you “part of our community.”
Though we had participated in NaNoWriMo before as a middle school, taking part virtually was a new challenge (as Chinquapin was in distance learning this fall due to COVID-19). Doing something together helped us to stay connected. We hosted alumni guest speakers who talked about their creative writing process and finished the month by celebrating together in one giant Google Meet with slideshows of our book covers, student testimonies and congratulatory messages. Students encouraged one another frequently and a few competed with each other as they pushed toward their word-count goals. We even had a high school student write 30,000 words on her own to show her support!
So, thank you. Your support provided encouragement and motivation to our young student writers, and it will continue to provide meaningful educational experiences for them in the future. As their English teachers, we are full of gratitude. Thanks for believing in our students and giving generously to Chinquapin. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into taking this curriculum online while also trying to share our story with all of you as a fundraiser, but it has been a treat to see our supporters respond so generously.
We can’t express it more clearly than one student, who wanted to tell you, “I appreciate that you are inspired by our writing and supported it. I also hope that you will continue to support us and the future Chinquapin students.”
You made Chinquapin’s NaNoWriMo 2020 a great success!
Gratefully yours, Chinquapin faculty members Sarah, Lindsay, and Vanessa & Chinquapin middle school students