HES loves to write

Author Michael Finklea visited Helena Elementary School on April 24, read students a story and encouraged them to love writing. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Author Michael Finklea visited Helena Elementary School on April 24, read students a story and encouraged them to love writing. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HELENA—“Anybody can write a good story, and I know you guys can write a story!” author Michael Finklea told Helena Elementary School’s kindergarteners during an April 24 school visit.

Finklea is a children’s author with works ranging from a joke book to “scary stories” about “dinosaurs and zombies.” As a child, Finklea said he did not enjoy writing, but he “fell into it” as something to occupy his time when he was 28.

“I didn’t like writing at first,” Finklea said. “But once it took ahold of me, I fell in love with it.”

Since then, Finkley has published eight books and is working on three more scheduled to come out in the next year. He also does numerous school visits.

“I’ve been to over 3,000 schools,” Finklea said. “You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t love it.”

Helena Elementary School librarian Gidget McCaleb invited Finklea to speak to each class at the school to reinforce the writing program.

“He talks about writing, which is a big thing we push here,” McCaleb said.

The Helena Elementary curriculum covers a variety of writing, from creative stories to poetry, and students’ writing lines the hallways of the school.

“Our students write every day, that’s just how we do it here at Helena Elementary School,” principal Mary Cooper said. “Our kindergarten is writing poetry—it’s some really good stuff!”

Students can sometimes find writing challenging, but Finklea told them writing should be fun and encouraged them to look for inspiration everywhere.

“I wanted to start writing because I think its so fun to make up stories,” Finklea said. “Every single thing you look at, with a little imagination, can be made into a really cool story.”

Finally, Finkley told the kindergarteners to never give up on their writing. He told student the story of his first book that took 9 tries before it was published.

“Instead of giving up, I wrote it a couple more times, and when it was published, I was proud of it.” Finklea said. “Keep writing stories, you might not get it right the first time, and that’s ok.”