Stonington Borough, CT
Mystic Chamber of Commerce
Noank Historical Society
STONINGTON — Olivia Fuller’s imagination is serving her well, especially since she has a dream of one day becoming a writer.
“I usually write about dragons and fairies,” she said, “because there’s just something about dragons and fairies that make writing feel more magical.”
The 8-year-old will get a head start on her ambitions this week when the Wise Owl Publishing Center officially opens at Deans Mill Elementary School.
The center, set in a corner of the school’s library, is a place where students in second grade through fourth grade will see their writing published and made available for their classmates to read.
Every second- through fourth-grader is guaranteed a chance to showcase their work.
“Writing kind of helps you get your thoughts out,” Olivia, a third-grader, said. “It makes me happy everyone at the school will get to see what I can do.”
Krysta Dessereaux, a kindergarten teacher at Deans Mill, came up with the idea of the center, which also will allow students a chance to see their writing bound with their own illustrations.
“It’s the final step of the writing process we never get to do,” Dessereaux said. “We teach writing but they’re never published and that’s what you really want to strive for. It’s also a great way to build confidence and celebrate [the students’] writing.”
Carly Constantine, a third-grader, is excited for her stories to be published.
“I like when people hear my stories, it makes me feel proud,” Carly, 9, said. “I wrote a story once about a polar bear who talked. It was fun. I like writing fiction because I don’t need to write facts and stuff.”
The Wise Owl Publishing Center will directly involve parents, who have volunteered to type up each student’s writing and bind the pages.
“Ultimately, we want to help make their dreams come alive,” Emily Kuhn, of the Deans Mill PTO, said. “This is a perfect opportunity to combine their creative writing skills from class and their artistic abilities from themselves to build a real book.”
Brian Lies, an author of children’s books, is scheduled to visit the school Thursday — officially marking the center’s opening.
Lies, who wrote The New York Times bestselling bat series, “Bats at the Beach,” “Bats at the Ballgame” and “Bats at the Library,” will speak to students about what it takes to be a writer and illustrator.
The center, itself, is ready to go. Olivia, Carly and fellow third-grader Lydia Laskey helped paint a large mural of three owls that overlooks a nook of shelves and a table.
“Writing helps you feel peaceful and quiet,” Lydia, 8, said. “Everybody is just going to have a lot of fun here.”
Added Dessereaux: “This is going to be a big attraction for them. We have so many talented writers here and their pieces are so great, I just wanted to create something for them to look forward to.”