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2 reviews

Review for The Office of Letters and Light, Berkeley, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

As an English teacher and school librarian, NaNoWriMo is one of the highlights of our school year. This last November we had over 60 students sign up to write novels through the month. The support offered by The Office of Letters and Light is just amazing, from a free wall chart and badges for our young writers to the superb site that enables students to connect as writers, and allows me as an educator to keep an eye on their progress and chivvy them along if they needed encouragement. What's stunning is the impact that this free site has on our students. Shy and retiring types come together as a group to find that they have a common goal, and one that is hugely impressive. It gives them a confidence and a presence around the school that is completely unique.

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Role:  Professional with expertise in this field

Review for The Office of Letters and Light, Berkeley, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I’m a school librarian and English teacher in the UK, and I run the NaNoWriMo YWP with my students, and invite sixth form to take part in NaNoWriMo proper every year. This has a huge impact on my students and their learning. This year I had 38 students sign up to take part, and though we lost several in the first couple of weeks when the enormity of their task became apparent, those who remained and worked through it underwent a marvellous transformation. From all year groups, this bunch of novelists became a tight and supportive group of friends who looked out for each other all through November and beyond, and still now meet up in the library to talk about their writing and to cement their friendships. They worked their hearts out during the month, and all of those who were dedicated to it made their word counts, including several 11 year olds who went for the full 50,000. Several of those who had joined up shy and reclusive, are now loud and enthusiastic centres of their friendship group who stunned us with their hard work.

I’m told by their teachers that their writing and confidence has improved. I see in each of them a new found respect for writing and for the novels that they read. The display board featuring their names has been a focal point in the library since day one; I can’t bear to take it down. For students who are usually forced to be so focused on academic success to undertake such a task for nothing much more than the pride and joy of doing it is something really special, and the role that the Office of Light and Letters plays in this is essential. The virtual classroom feature gave my students a focus and a safe place to leave online messages for each other when they weren’t in school. The wall chart and badges kept them going, and I’m really looking forward to our formal presentation day when they get their certificates. Some of them are still working on finishing their stories and redrafting. It’s not just a one month thing, but they’re all already talking about doing it this year too, and the writing notebooks have started to appear in their bags.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

student confdence and achievement levels.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more funding to carry on the great work that they do!

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Lead a group of school students in NaNoWriMo.