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New performance competition is coming to Dare to Scare for its anniversary

+Library+media+specialist+Donna+Leahy+is+one+of+the+sponsors+and+creators+of+Dare+to+Scare%2C+an+event+that+holds+a+writing+competition%2C+an+event+for+third+graders%2C+and+for+this+year%2C+a+performance+competition.+
 Library media specialist Donna Leahy is one of the sponsors and creators of Dare to Scare, an event that holds a writing competition, an event for third graders, and for this year, a performance competition.

Library media specialist Donna Leahy is one of the sponsors and creators of Dare to Scare, an event that holds a writing competition, an event for third graders, and for this year, a performance competition.

Photo by Mayeli Vivaldo

Photo by Mayeli Vivaldo

Library media specialist Donna Leahy is one of the sponsors and creators of Dare to Scare, an event that holds a writing competition, an event for third graders, and for this year, a performance competition.

By Mayeli Vivaldo, Editor in Chief

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For its fifth anniversary, Dare to Scare will not only include a writing competition but a performance competition as well.

The Dare to Scare event was created by the Language Arts Department and the LRC.

The event holds a writing competition in which participants can write a scary story for their peers or for third graders.

The winners of both categories win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, but winners of the third grader category get the opportunity to read their stories to the children who attend the Dare to Scare community event on Oct. 26.

Both the LRC and the division chair for the language arts department, Mary Howard, judge the stories.

“Mary Howard judges the Dare to Scare your peers. She gives her input into the third grade one and then all of us ladies in the library, we read them and pick out the best ones. It’s a process where we eliminate it down,” library media specialist Donna Leahy said. “The hardest part is judging what would be appropriate for third graders, what might get them involved, why they might like it. You’re trying to think like a third grader so it can’t be bloody, guts, and real scary kind of things.”

Nine years ago, Dare to Scare was only a writing competition. It did not include the Dare to Scare community event.

“We were trying to get a blog started for the LRC. We wanted more people to come to our blog page. The kids would write a story, we would post the story, and then people could comment on the blog, and whoever had the most comments, won,” Dare to Scare sponsor Donna Leahy said. “That’s how this got started.”

To make the event more interesting, the Language Arts department and LRC added the Dare to Scare community event.

“Five years ago, we were brainstorming with the English department about how to step it up. We wanted to bring it out to the community and do more with Dare to Scare. (English teacher) Jen Culbertson said, ‘well, why don’t you bring little kids in? For Halloween, instead of trick or treating, they could come here,’” Leahy said. “I went to talk to (Superintendent Doug) Domeracki and he got on the phone and started calling the elementary schools. That’s how the event started.”

Reading to the third graders became Leahy’s favorite part of Dare to Scare.

“It was always fun to read the stories, but now, I just love watching the third graders come into the LRC, sitting on the floor, listening to the stories, and asking questions, and just watching the exchange between our students and them. It’s magical. I love it,” Leahy said. “We really couldn’t have the event without the third graders.”

Leahy decided to include the performance competition this year because, “Some of the kids last year got dressed up and they did such a good job, but they didn’t win the writing competition. I thought it would be a neat addition to it since it’s our fifth year anniversary.”

The winner of the performance competition will also win a $25 gift card.

Leahy plans on posting and putting up some tips and information on how to write a short story on the website.

“If you’re going to tell a short story, you want to have something that’s going to catch them. One girl wrote something that had a song in it. All the kids got to sing the song with her. So that was really interactive. I thought that was great,” Leahy said.

Students planning on participating in the writing event must submit their stories by Oct. 17.

The stories should be around 500 words.

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New performance competition is coming to Dare to Scare for its anniversary