Dare to Scare gets students to bring out their creative side virtually


Photo by Jocelynan Vera and Monserat Vargas

In 2019, librarian Donna Leahy speaks at the Dare to Scare event in front of students.

By Leslie Najera-Rivas, Editor in Chief

The annual Dare to Scare writing competition has moved to an online format due to COVID-19. 

“This year due to the pandemic we will be offering a virtual way for our third graders to listen to the stories our students wrote and possibly have a Q&A with the authors,” librarian Donna Leahy said. “We are all going to do the best we can this year given the circumstances. We are hoping to have everything ready to go virtual Oct. 26.”

Students can submit a story for one or both competitions with 500 words or less by Thursday at midnight. Winners will get a $25 gift card. 

“The first Dare to Scare your Peers can be very scary while the Dare to Scare a Third Grader competition is filled with Halloween stories about ghosts, pumpkins, trick or treating,” Leahy said. 

Dare to Scare was created 12 years ago when the library wanted to bring students to the new website. 

“The LRC and the Language Arts Department collaborated to launch the first Dare to Scare writing competition,” Leahy said. “Over the years the Dare to Scare contest has added the Dare to Scare a Third Grader contest and also the Best Storytelling Award.” 

Although being restricted due to CDC guidelines, teachers are looking forward to the event. 

“For the past seven years, we have invited our third-grade community to join us for a morning of magic. This community event is a collaborative effort between the LRC, (Brittney) Bauer’s advanced child development class, and (Tara) Deleon’s creative writing club, and many student volunteers who love helping our third-grade visitors stay safe while having a great time,” Leahy said.

Students can submit their stories using the links https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScUk13-w4z2PtdGw2ULorAiPpTWbEM-3B3KOyaLfHHdaj1fjA/viewform?usp=sf_link for the third grader stories and https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScHIvE_mk5Pka6IjFGy8jpQAhrgUrN63BBJg4ibAt2lW43UfQ/viewform?usp=sf_link for scare your peer stories. 

Leahy encourages students to participate. 

“I truly hope it continues in the future since it’s been a fall tradition here for so many years. It has been one of the most fun, interactive events I have ever been a part of and I will always have fond memories of Dare to Scare,” Leahy said.  “It truly is a collaborative event inspiring students to write and share their creativity with fellow students and the third graders from Gary and Pioneer elementary schools.”