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[Well-written articles from Clubs about an important activity of the Club are invited..  Articles will be screened and published here, on a regular basis and will remain readily accessible.  Send your Club submissions - 500 words or less with images/photographs to 7230rotary@gmail.com.  Editors reserve the right to not publish and/or edit submissions.]
 
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Club Corner
INSPIRING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO WRITE
By Karl Milde (North-East Westchester)
 
When I was a teenager in high school (very long ago) my school had a literary magazine called The Mirror. It was published once a year in the spring, and everyone in the school read it from cover to cover. To have one’s article or poem appear in The Mirror was an incredible honor.
 
I was a sophomore when I finally got up the courage to submit a short poem. Those ten lines came from my inner being and revealed my deepest longings but, throwing privacy to the wind, I sent them in to the editors of The Mirror and waited. To my joy, and also dismay from my audacity, the poem was accepted for publication.
 
I still recall the pride I felt when The Mirror came out that year. My work was published for all to see! I was now a somebody on campus. That one poem gave me the confidence to write another, and then to write an article and eventually further poems, articles, and stories. I have continued creative writing to this day.
 
Although many schools nowadays have a newspaper, few have a publication to showcase the creative writing of their students. Enter the Northeast Westchester Rotary Club, abbreviated to “NEW Rotary,” with a unique project to meet this need.
 
Each year, the NEW Rotary publishes a book called On My Mind which includes articles, poetry, and artwork submitted by students from more than fifteen high schools in our local area. A book-launch for On My Mind, celebrated in mid-May each year, is attended by the student authors, their parents and teachers, and by the media and members of the public. At the launch you can just feel the excitement, the pride, and the sheer joy of these young people who see their work in print for the first time. Ten students are selected randomly to read their poem or story aloud to the attendees.
 
When these student authors and artists apply to the colleges of their choice, they can say their work has been published. This is just the kind of thing that colleges look for when making their admission decisions.
 
On My Mind has been published annually for fifteen years thus far, and each year it has increased in size to meet the needs of more schools and students. As the size of the book has grown, so has the cost to publish it. The NEW Rotary wishes to thank its many donors, especially PCSB Bank and IBM, for their continued generous support of this worthy project.
 
If On My Mind inspires even one student a year to write with self-confidence and to write well, it is a project well worth doing.