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Young Writers Conference, 2008

To kick off the 2008 event, Nate Howard, chief photographer for the Rochester Post-Bulletin, shared some of his photos and spoke about how he captures and frames power within a photo. The theme of power coordinated effectively with the St. Paul Public School curriculum, wherein students read and write around the issue of "Power in Our World" during their eighth grade year. The units begin with individual power and its use as a theme in narrative fiction. Community power is explored through drama and various texts. Research is the focus of the third unit, political power, in which students explore the use and abuse of political influence in the world both historically and in the present day. The final unit requires students to explore the power of the written word and the way it is used in persuasive texts to create an awareness of or need for change in our communities.

Over a period of three days, students and teachers from four St. Paul Schools—Battle Creek Middle School, Ramsey Junior High School, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet, and Highland Park Junior High School—viewed, learned from, and wrote about the photography exhibit, Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power.  In addition to writing about power, students had the opportunity to take photos of power as they saw it materialized in the world around them.