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Showcasing the Jewels

Photo “Mindful Meditations”by Shelby Collins,11th grade, Mammoth Springs High School
Photo “Mindful Meditations”by Shelby Collins,11th grade, Mammoth Springs High School

At the NCTE Affiliate Leadership Meeting last weekend, Dixie Keyes, handed me this edition of the 2016 Edition of the Arkansas Anthology and told me to tuck it away in a safe place. It was plain that she was handing me this collection of student and teacher writing and art as a precious treasure—and so it is!

“…the goal of the [Arkansas] Anthology has been to encourage and reward the writing excellence of students and educators throughout Arkansas schools. In the tradition of the National Council of Teachers of English’ (NCTE) ways of lifting up student voices through the language arts, this publication of creative works by young authors, artists, and photographers honors excellence in writing, both prose and poetry, as well as art of multiple kinds. Of note this year is that every photo and piece of art placed alongside writings were submissions from student artists. Some photos even grace an entire page because of their perspective and beauty.”

Dixie explains

“’Anyone who says you can’t see a thought simply doesn’t know art.’ Wynetka Ann Reynolds said this, and it exemplifies my experience editing the past seven volumes of the Arkansas Anthology. Through each year that I’ve sifted through submissions with the co-editors, each piece of art embodies the lives and thoughts of young authors and artists throughout our state. Their voices live with me months after each Anthology is produced—their worries, their hopes, and their expressions… My involvement in the Arkansas Anthology has given me breath, substance, and peace.”

Dixie serves as Region 5 Representative to the NCTE Standing Committee on Affiliates and past president of the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.