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Student magazine receives ranking

Banks Middle School’s literary magazine, “The Open Window,” has been selected to receive the rank of excellent in the 2008 National Council of Teachers of English Program, which recognizes excellence in student literary magazines.

LaToya Gay, magazine adviser and English teacher, said 498 schools entered the 2008 contest and Banks Middle School was one of only five selected in Alabama. “Banks Middle School was also the only middle school in Alabama that received this prestigious award,” Gay said. “I’m very excited about the accomplishments of our students. Last year was our first year to publish a literary magazine. We worked on a limited budget and with limited experience. I appreciate the dedication and efforts of our students and the support from our principal and the administration.”

The literary magazine features writing and artwork submitted by students in grades six through eight.

Eighth-grade students have the option of working on “The Open Window” staff. “They are responsible for screening and selecting literature and artwork, editing, and publishing the literary magazine,” Gay said.

Mark Head, principal of Banks Schools, said the excellent ranking awarded to the Banks Middle School literary magazine speaks volumes about the efforts Gay and the students put into the project.

“This magazine is done above and beyond the established classroom requirements,” Head said. “I’m very proud of all those involved.” Last year’s editors, Amanda Jordan, Katie Powell, and Caleb Wentland, are now freshmen at Pike County High School.

The 2009 version of “The Open Window” will go on sale in mid-April.