When students come into Elizabeth Sumerlin's Creative Writing class, they can really express themselves.
“I wanted them to have a safe place where they can write about the things that bother them or they could write about the things that are eating away at them,” she says. “Because they have big issues and they're fighting big battles. And I want to give them the opportunity to write something beautiful and poignant and provoking that they can share and develop and be proud of.”
In fact, the students are the real reason this class exists at Grovetown High School.
She tells us, “Students actively pursued having one and they promoted it and they got people involved and they actually got the administration to listen to them and get it on the catalog.”
Sure they're getting graded for what they do, but this class is about so much more than a mark on a report card.
“I have seen students come alive with writing and I have seen students change and grow and develop and adapt and they become more comfortable with who they are.”
And when they graduate, many of these kids will become Ms. Sumerlin's friends. They'll stay in touch long after graduation. That's the kind of lifelong impact she has right here in Creative Writing class.
“I am very passionate about my career and I am the first one to think that Language Arts and English and Literature is one of the most emotional subjects,” she says. “I get very close to my students and I love them dearly. And I think that's because we as humans and we as people in society are all connected in some way.”