‘After all, there is but one race; humanity’ — National Day on Writing 2014

Karen Li, Commons Editor


On October 20, 2014, Ward Melville, as well as hundreds of other high schools across the country, participated in the celebration of NCTE’s annual National Day on Writing, which was deemed October 20 by NCTE and also approved by the Senate. NCTE stands for the National Council of Teachers of English, and is a professional association of educators in English studies, literacy, and language arts. It currently has over 35,000 members and subscribers in the US and other countries. For the past 100 years, NCTE has focused on supporting student learning, and has worked to promote a love for writing and English studies.
NCTE held its first ever National Day on Writing on October 20, 2009 with the intention of shedding light on the significance of writing in our lives and drawing attention to the incredible variety of writing we engage in. By participating in National Day of Writing, American writers all across the nation are encouraged to write, enjoy and learn from others’ writing.
This year’s prompt or topic of writing for all participating in the National Day on Writing was “Writing on Community.” Students and teachers in schools everywhere were prompted to write about their contribution to their community or humanity or their interpretation of the prompt. During each English class, students wrote for about 10 minutes before sharing what they wrote with friends around them and then hanging their decorated papers outside in the halls of the school. The school walls were covered in papers of all colors and designs with writing by each student in no time. For the remainder of class, students were allowed to read other papers on the wall, further inspiring themselves.
Students responded to a quote by author George Moore: “After all, there is but one race – humanity.” One student’s paper featured the wise words of Mahatma Ghandi, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Another paper read, “We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” The quotes will eventually be on display at the North Country Administration Building.
Ward Melville participates in NCTE’s National Day on Writing every year. Each year the event is a success, with students becoming even more inspired.