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The City Journals

‘The Power of Yet’ assists Westbrook students in finding their talents

Feb 11, 2020 01:35PM ● By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

The “Power of Yet” finds a home at Westbrook Elementary. (Photo by Jessica Sellers)

By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | [email protected]

It isn’t every day that students showcase their talents while looking for another one to manifest itself, but such is the case with Westbrook Elementary students.

Though in its final school year, a high number of students are moving forward to not only find but to develop their talents. Even those they struggle with and those that haven’t yet arrived are powerful reminders of what a student can a accomplish when he or she sets his or her mind to it.

“The students came up with different theme ideas, and we voted, and Find Your Talent won,” said Jessica Sellers, student council adviser at Westbrook Elementary. “The news [of the school’s closing] has not shifted our plans. We are committed [to] Westbrook to make this a typical, fantastic year for the kids.”

Two likely themes have developed at Westbrook. The first, Find Your Talent, run by the student council throughout the year, has engaged students to seek to learn something new — or improve something they already have going for themselves. Not surprisingly, the student council theme coincides with the school’s theme: The Power of Yet. “Just because you can’t do something now doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to do it; you just can’t do it yet,” Sellers said.

Earlier this year, the students chose the book, “Spoon,” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to begin their co-themes of the year. The story is about a spoon without talent. At least the spoon thinks so. It’s not a knife or a fork, so what can it do? But then the spoon realizes it can do things that are “unique to just spoons.”

As members of the student council read this book to each class within the school, the classes were challenged to decorate their own spoons “highlighting a talent unique to themselves,” Sellers said. “Each class made a poster and these were displayed down the hallway.”

To connect “The Power of Yet” to “Find Your Talent,” the student council has created a “Finding Your Talent” calendar. “[This is] our new year’s resolution as a school,” Sellers said, suggesting that seeing the calendar every day will “encourage students to try a different, new activity every day of the month. [We want students] to try some new talents or develop some things they have tried in the past, but haven’t perfected—yet.”

Ella Walton, a sixth grader at Westbrook, has been busy taking on the two themes.  

She drew a book on her spoon because “I’m good at reading, and I can read fast,” she said. Ella is part of the Student Council this year, an opportunity awarded to excellent sixth grade students only. Her mother, Melena Walton, said she’s proud of her.

“She’s developed more confidence doing new things,” she said. “Ella is more willing to help out at school.”

When it comes to later in the year, school administrators plan on running an activity day where kids will play different games with spoons, Sellers said. In the spring, another book, not yet to be revealed, will be read to the students about finding and growing talents, and an activity relating to the new book and theme will be initiated.