Alena Zhang ('23)

The Writing Club is brand new to Cherry Hill East.

Cherry Hill East Writing Club

Google Classroom: gk76w2j
Instagram: @chewritingclub

The Cherry Hill East Writing Club has combined creativity with community service, and is seeking to make writing fun. People often associate writing with long boring essays or analysis on an English book. However, writing goes deeper than the surface of just these things. They are able to use it as an opportunity to show their creative side. Vivian Rong (‘23) and Alena Zhang (‘23) were able to take their deep rooted passion for writing and create the Cherry Hill East Writing Club (CHEW).

Rong and Zhang started their club to show that writing can be an enjoyable thing. With English assignments and essays to write, it is easy for students to feel overwhelmed and see writing as stressful rather than enjoyable. Many students in the club have aspirations to become authors or other types of writers in the future, and CHEW creates a relaxed atmosphere where students are able to embrace the art of writing.

“We wanted to create a place where people could embrace what they liked to do without the pressure of grades or due dates,” said Rong.

CHEW has had two meetings, an interest meeting and an interview with New York Times #1 bestseller Laura Numeroff, author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. This interview with Numeroff acts as the real kickstart to the club. It was an exciting and eye opening experience for the members of the club to talk with Numeroff about writing books, as she is so immersed in the writing world.

The members of the Writing Club participate in a meeting with NYT #1 Bestseller Laura Numeroff, pictured on the top left.
(Courtesy of Alena Zhang (’23))

As for the future, Rong and Zhang are planning to have a meeting with Reach out and Read and create and illustrate their own books. These books will have original stories accompanied with illustrations. They will then be read to children in the community from hospitals to elementary and middle schools.
“Community outreach is a main goal,” said Zhang, “Soon we will be able to work with hospitals and elementary/middle schools to read books to people.”

Rong and Zhang’s main aspect for their club is community and service. Through CHEW, they wish to reach others in the community and make a difference through writing. Both Rong and Zhang realized that not everyone has the opportunity to grab a book off the shelf. They hope to be able to create their own stories to share and read.

“It’s definitely been a journey,” said Rong, “I’ve come to realize that writing is a place where I can be myself and call my safe space.” For both of them, writing is a way to escape their realities.
“Writing has always been ingrained in who I am,” said Zhang, “I see writing as a way for me to unwind after a long day.”

Through CHEW, Rong and Zhang hope to make an impact on the community and show the East community the great joys that writing has to offer.

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