Giving Back to Jenks: Power of Story’s Literary Magazine

By: Charisma Ganye

When in an English class, there’s always a specific curriculum that has to be taught. As soon as you get to something that you might actually like, you have to move on because the curriculum calls for it. Hardly are you ever given the ability to write the way you want with no emphasis on anything. This is what the Power of Story Class allows you to do. 

A few years ago, Randy Williams decided there was a need for a class that took off the emphasis of curricular standards when learning English. That class is called Power of Story. 

“I think that narrative is one of the most powerful forms of writing and I feel like it’s one of the least focused on in English classes,” says Randy Williams, the teacher in charge of Power of Story. “There’s a trend to focus more on argumentative writing and exposition writing and less about narrative writing, but really good nonfiction argumentative and exposition writing has a lot of narrative in it.”

While trying to find something that Jenks didn’t provide or really have and with the help of his students, he came up with the idea for a Literary Magazine. He wanted there to be something at the end of the course that held their work.

“It’s a way to bring in the idea that writing and reading is part of the campus- which it is. I think this makes that tangible,” says Williams. 

The knowledge of having an anthology of all their favorite stories and poems they have written in class has excited many people in the class. Just knowing that soon what they wrote will be out there for people to enjoy has people like Kaliana Gartelos, one of the students in the class, pumped up. 

“I love writing and I love the escapism it provides. [This class] gave me the ability to write in an actual class period,” says Gartelos. “This is kind of like a writer’s portfolio of sorts. It’s everyone’s work coming together for one purpose- to give back to the school.” 

While the Power of Story provides the stories and poems that will fill the literary magazine, that’s not all that will be in there. A few art classes are working together with the class to add visual aids. 

“Instead of just doing visual drawings, we are doing plates. The plates are going to be Italian istoriato maiolica plates,” says Shelley Olds, the art teacher in charge of this. “They will find their story and write it and then they would draw, in their visual journal, the story they want to put on their plate.” 

A few of the plates that could be written about in the Literary Magazine

After the plates are made, the best 12 or so are going to be picked and the Power of Story kids are supposed to come in and write the story that the plate tells. 

The Literary Magazine for this semester is set to come out in December/ early January. 

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