January 23, 2020

Dear Kent Families,

Last Thursday this perspective piece, composed by our very own 8th grader Berit, aired on KQED radio. Berit shows confidence, courage, character, and composure in the way she speaks about her own journey in personal discovery and identity. Give it a listen when you have a moment!

Berit composed this perspective piece as a part of the 8th grade Expressions course, a trimester-long enrichment class structured around reading, writing, listening, and speaking components. Students explore powerful elements of composition and communication, and apply their learnings to original poetry, storytelling, and commentary. Our District's K-8 writing program is grounded in daily writing where students apply strategically taught learnings about the author’s craft to narrative, opinion, and informational compositions. Our 8th grade Expressions course builds on these important learnings and introduces additional, unique genres for students to compose in... and they tend to love it!

With a Public Speaking class in 6th grade, a TED Talks course in 7th grade, and Expressions for all 8th graders, confident and coherent public presentation of ideas is a common thread and valued skill emphasized throughout our instructional program at Kent. KQED selected Berit’s and two other students’ pieces from first trimester Expressions for publication; I look forward to sharing the other pieces with you when they air, as well as future compositions from second and third trimester.

Our kids have unique and varied perspectives that we can all learn from, and I’m exceedingly grateful that our teachers empower our children to tell their stories to each other and the world.

Grant Althouse
Kent Principal