‘Words: Unscripted’ vents imagination for Liberty writers
MADISON – Steven Mathis believes sponsoring “Words: Unscripted” is a natural fit for him.
Steven teaches seventh- and eighth-grade language arts at Liberty Middle School and “figured I could help students who love to write to learn how to put (more) power behind their gift.” Mathis is applying his own writing skill and as imagination for the three-year-old creative writing club.
As a teacher, Mathis often discovers hidden gifts in students. “Sometimes, it hits me right in the face. Other times, there’s a glint of potential waving its tiny hand at me.”
As a former “Miami Herald” reporter, Mathis speaks honestly about the job market. “Students who are gifted in writing should love what they do and have a deep, immovable passion. I don’t want to skate the line of boxing any student into one particular role or job,” he said.
Words: Unscripted offers positive and non-threatening opportunities to develop writing and speaking skills. “Nowadays, with technology becoming more integrated with our heartbeats, it’s so easy for anyone’s imagination to be stifled and deemed unacceptable,” Mathis said.
He allows students “to be okay with the dragons and rainbows and extra-terrestrials running around in their heads. I want students to live and dream and write in color … paint this world in unheard of, unseen hues and promises.”
Any Liberty student can apply with a writing sample and an essay. “I don’t want students to just show up and expect greatness to be handed to them,” he said.
Words: Unscripted members will create collaborative short stories, humorous non-fiction pieces or film critiques. Mathis is considering a poetry show with exhibits of visual art from Madison students.
Words: Unscripted meetings are full of talk, laughter and sharing. “Students become (more) comfortable in front of peers and adults. It’s a self-esteem booster,” Mathis said.
Mathis also advises the yearbook staff and mentors young men in Talk 2 Me Tuesday.
“The world is literally theirs for the taking at this age. Exploration leads to discovery,” Mathis said.