Gunnar participated in an amazing program that his school participates in for fourth graders. It is a foundation created for kids who struggle with language arts/writing, and those children are the ones that are chosen first to participate, Young Storytellers Foundation. Since we do the program both in the fall and spring, 10 kids chosen each program, we don't have 20 children that struggle with writing, so they open it up to the rest of the kids in the grade. Gunnar was so fortunate to have been chosen for those few slots open to the students who excel in writing.
HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. A group of actual writers do this out of the goodness of their heart, 10 writers came every single Thursday from 1-2pm for 6 weeks. They were each assigned a studen writer, and they became those kids' mentors. They worked one on one week after week. Even if school had an early dismissal, those 10 kids stayed at school. Each kid has to take this extremely serious and as a parent you vow to not take any vacations for those weeks. One Thursday Gunnar was in no shape for school, he was on antibiotics, and not feeling well at all. But it didn't matter, Gunnar was so committed he laid in bed all day and then popped some advil, got dressed, and went to school at 12:50 so he wouldn't miss his session with his mentor. He came back home at 2 and crawled right back into bed. He was so serious and devoted to this process.
The kids each write a 5-7 minute screenplay. They learn the process of writing a screenplay, the technical terms for different scenes, narrators, the character development, I can go on and on. They are guided, but these kids make their own path. It culminates at the end of the program with a special dinner that the parents of the 10 kids provide just for their mentors and the kids. No teachers, no parents, just the 20 who have bonded while working closely together. And following the dinner the big show happens. A group of 10 actors donate their time and show up to the school just in time for auditions. They tell each kid a little about themselves, their acting skills, and then each child casts their own screenplay. They pass out copies of their screenplay to the actors they've chosen, they choose their narrator, etc. and then the school is invited to the evening show to watch the 10 screenplays performed live.
Getting ready for this evening Gunnar told me it was the most important day of his life up until this point. He felt so excited and so nervous at the same time. And he did not disappoint. I'm gushing a little much huh? Sorry, just so proud of how hard he worked.
Gunnar and his mentor, Jordan. At the end of the evening Jordan gave Gunnar a moleskine notepad to make sure he always jots down thoughts and ideas, and a homemade bookmark from his fiance, how sweet is that.
Here the actors are on the stage and the kids are discussing with their mentors who should be cast.
The group of young screenwriters. How proud do they look?!
Before each screenplay, the student's mentor says a few words about thier partner and then each student is given a chance to speak about their mentor. Then the student introduced their script. So touching.
Gunnar's screenplay was hilarious, I loved how he infused humor into it and you just knew my boy wrote this one. Here's a few of the actors performing it.
Romeo came to support his idol.