Horizon Community Middle School eighth-grader Caleb Stewart wrote a poem about his journey through cancer and chemotherapy. Seventh-grader Makayla Grayum wrote the first chapters of her first novel about a young woman who discovers she has supernatural powers after she loses her father and brother.
Those are just some of the student writings contained in The Big Brain Club at Horizon Community Middle School, a book published this month by The Big Brain Club, a non-profit organization founded by author and Denver radio personality Dom Testa to help young people overcome the peer pressure to dumb down.
“You do not have to choose between being cool and being smart,” said Testa, during an assembly honoring 67 student-authors whose work was included in the book. “Smart IS cool, and it’s the only cool thing that lasts!”
That message resonated with students like seventh-grader Ayanna Hwang.
“I think it’s true and real,” Hwang said. “We can stand up for being smart.”
Testa, author of The Galahad Series for young adults, encouraged the students to do well in school and find their creative passion, whether it be writing, dance, music, science, art or something else.
“Become the best version of yourself. Learn, read, excel,” urged Testa.
That message aligns with Horizon’s commitment to educational excellence as a performance-based school.
“I think it’s great,” said parent Cindy Stewart of the partnership between Horizon and The Big Brain Club. “It encourages students to do their best.”