Is there anything more validating than winning an award two consecutive years in a row? Hoboken High School’s Student Literary Magazine aptly named, CREATE, has scored its second consecutive rank of “Excellent” from the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English). Three hundred and seventy-three schools nationwide entered the prestigious competition and Hoboken High School’s magazine saw only twenty-six schools that earned a higher ranking. HHS did even better in New Jersey, where only fifteen schools ranked higher with a “Superior” award.
Under the tutelage of teacher Sharon Malenda, students of HHS have become quite the budding wordsmiths, inspired largely by Ms. Malenda’s passionate and endless pursuit to instill creativity. Malenda – who received her Master’s Degree in English Education from a little known school called Harvard – is an extraordinary poet herself who thinks in prose and teaches straight from the heart.
“It is imperative that in today’s “rigorous” and conformist world of education, which is suddenly focused on state standardized tests that students aren't labeled and locked in to a score based on multiple choices,” Sharon Malenda said. “What people fail to realize is that creativity is an absolute necessity in critical-thinking. Creative writing is one of the few classes where students aren't obligated to pass a benchmark or prove anything to the state. They can write and think outside the confines of the state’s mundane 4pt writing rubric and this is essential to growth.”
The featured writing in “CREATE” was produced by the members of Ms. Malenda’s Literary Magazine Club and her creative writing class and the art was collected from Mrs. Ising’s and Ms. Kubach’s art students and art club members.
Here is a sneak preview:
"Deluded" - Mikey Colon
Even when asleep in my bed
It's just a collection of hypnotic and chaotic
Thoughts in my head
Dreaming nights without screaming
Not just from my home but from the dome of life we're living
Can we stop killing the sane
And maybe try to kill the pain
Government money funds the war
But never the poor
Piles that lay for miles of sadness mix
With the death of madness
Dance along the youth
But my words fall upon deaf ears
No one care about these tears
Even with the truth in your face
It's just words walking out their ears into a different place
Where they burn away like trust, money and family
We earn each day
Because everything is nothing
Even something can be nothing
Just like you and I
But we're still nothing.
Hard to believe these are high school students.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this awarding winning magazine, please contact Ms. Malenda at Smalenda@hoboken.k12.nj.us. The cost is $5.00 and the money will be used to ensure that they can produce another magazine this year.
Supply is limited! Support the arts!