West Elementary School in Andover rocked it once again with their recent reading and writing conference as a dozen professionals met with students to talk about their works - and their words.

This marked the 22nd consecutive year for WERAWC - pronounced “we rock” and is the acronym for West Elementary Readers and Writers Conference. Each year, there is a theme for the event. 

West Elementary Principal Elizabeth “Liz” Roos said, “the focus is on science and reading this year.”

“In addition to the 12 presenters, we had 1,200 parents visit to listen to students’ stories, narratives, memoirs, poetry, watch classroom news videos, performances and see the annual WERAWC skit and grade level songs,” Roos said. “The superintendent and assistant superintendent, as well as School Committee members, joined us in opening ceremonies.”

Students got to learn writing tips from professionals and enjoyed hearing the stories from authors and illustrators.

“WERAWC is fantastic because lots of illustrators and authors come to West and you can focus on becoming a better writer yourself,” third grader Marina Ten, 8, wrote in an email.

“WERAWC is the most fun week of the year,” added fifth-grader Tyler Ardito,10. “I like how you get to experience all kinds of storyteller and illustrators with all different backgrounds. One of my favorite presenters was Sean Bixby - an illustrator. He came when I was in 3rd grade and is back this year for the younger kids. He is funny and creative.” 

Students always make bookmarks depicting reading and writing and winning bookmarks are selected each year. They are framed and decorate the school’s walls.

“The winning bookmarks are on our walls for a year,” Roos said. “The kids really enjoy the event and look forward to it.”


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