It took a pandemic for Carl Sandburg eighth-grader Kennedy Gallagher to truly appreciate school. But she’s always been passionate about writing. So when students were told about an opportunity to be published on a blog, Kennedy stepped forward.
Soon she had written a draft of her first blog. A few weeks and two drafts later, Kennedy completed the 609-word article called “The World Gets A Glimpse of Normal.”
The blog was published on the AIMS (Association of Illinois Middle-Grade Schools) Network website. One of her teachers, Tracy Fuentes, is president of the AIMS Board of Directors.
“We wanted a student’s perspective on the blog, so I asked if anyone was interested. Kennedy came to me and said she wanted to write for the blog,” Fuentes said.
Kennedy, with the help of her mom and language arts teacher Kate Rogers, wrote about how COVID-19 impacted her first two years of middle school. She described her experience during the pandemic in her opening line: “It feels as if the world is covered with acid.”
She described how Tik Tok’s popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic to the point it was “replacing social interactions amongst my peers” and pointed out that her first middle school dance didn’t occur until she was in eighth-grade.
“In a way, COVID was a curse and deprived us from a true middle school experience,” she wrote.
The blog gave her an opportunity to practice her writing skills, something she enjoys doing in her free time. It also allowed her to express herself in a healing way. CSMS Principal Mark Pilut said the article was unique because it came from a student’s perspective.
“She really appreciates what she missed out on during the pandemic and she articulated that well,” Pilut said.
There will be other opportunities to write for AIMS and Fuentes wouldn’t be surprised if Kennedy writes another blog. Beyond that, Kennedy gave a hint of what’s to come.
“I’m not sure what I want to do in my future, but whatever it is, I want to involve writing,” she said.