May 23rd, 2024

Student letters resonate at WMS literacy assembly

By Trevor Busch - Lethbridge Herald on March 23, 2022.

Herald photo by Ry Clark Students at Wilson Middle School were given the opportunity to present their "Dear," letters during a school assembly, showcasing their work to peers and family.


Students took to the stage Tuesday for the first time in two years at Wilson Middle School presenting their “Dear _____” letters to peers and family.
The assembly was part of a literacy contest held by the school which brought in over 100 submissions from students. Inspired by Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ speech, the students were encouraged to write a letter to an inanimate object that held significance to them.
Finalists Tyler Sweetgrass and Pranish Gurung were picked for the raw honest emotions that resonated in their letters. At the assembly the two were given the opportunity, along with 18 of their peers, to present their pieces and showcase the hard work they had put into the assignment.
Lauren Granberg, a teacher at Wilson Middle School, saw the assignment as an opportunity for students to make the project their own.
“Through this experience, we’ve gotten to see students who we wouldn’t have seen shine, take a moment for themselves and it’s been really special.”
Granberg says the assignment allowed the school an opportunity to host an assembly that showcased the hard work students put into their letters.
“We have this assembly, because there’s 20 that were just shocking. Just beautiful and honest and humourous, all of the different emotions. So, we have them all on stage today.”
Tyler Sweetgrass is one of two finalists for the contest, writing his piece to a pair of headphones, telling the reader about why he loves them and using them to block out the fighting in his life while helping bring entertainment to the boredom of silence.
“One of the lines you’ll hear is ‘you don’t let the traumatizing voices in.’ That’s why I just keep the earphones in. And when I walk it’s not so utterly boring.”
Sweetgrass says he was nervous to present in front of the whole school, but happy for the experience to share with his peers.
Pranish Gurung, another finalist in the contest, wrote his letter to his drums using his process of learning as inspiration in the piece.
“When I was little, I used to get plates and pots and just try to act like I’m playing a drum.”
In his letter, Gurung talks about how the drums grant him freedom and the ability to create through song.
Born in a refugee camp, Gurung says he is proud to put his name out into the world and saying “It keeps the head up,” when describing his feelings towards representing his family.

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