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‘Reaching for the Stars’ with poetry

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‘Reaching for the Stars’ with poetry

Colony Oak 8th grader Peacha Sokk looks over the poem that earned her third place in the entire district when she entered it into the 'Reaching for the Stars' Astronaut and Space Exploration writin...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED October 9, 2009 2:29 a.m.
RIPON – It isn’t uncommon for Peacha Sokk to put her pen on paper even after school wraps up for the day.

The Colony Oak 8th grader recently submitted her poem “Out There” into a Ripon Unified district-wide competition where she was judged with more than 200 other students. She ended up earning herself a handful of awards that range from meeting a real-life astronaut as well as Sacramento Kings and Monarch tickets where they’ll be honored for their scholastic achievements.

But for the soft-spoken student, the real award rests in the release that she gets from writing and the time she gets to spend reading everything she can get her hands on in order to broaden her horizons and allow her to become even more seasoned in the ways of the world.

“This was a contest that I just entered for fun because I enjoy writing fiction and I really enjoy taking my time with fantasy stories,” Sokk said. “This was all such a surprise because I never thought that I’d every get a chance to win something – let alone continue on with it and possibly with even more when it was something that I would have likely been doing on my own anyways.”

With the Wizard of Oz – one of the best fantasy stories ever written – as her inspiration, Sokk focused her poem-like entry with an imaginary take on what it will be when man finally steps onto Mars and takes the time to explore the red planet.

A one page, four-sentence each poem style entry is what she hung her hat on to a crew of judges that see some of the best and the brightest – hoping that her personal experience could be channeled into something realistic.

And while she considers herself to be a diligent student, Colony Oak eighth grade teacher Terri Beam knew that she had a student that appreciates the written word and would do anything to fine tune her favorite subject. It is one that she hopes to pursue long after she leaves the hallowed halls of Colony Oak.

“When I found out that I was receiving an honor for that I really didn’t know what to say or how to handle it,” Sokk said. “Going up against those many kids and knowing that your fiction is as good if not better than the rest of the entrants of the field, and that’s a feeling unlike anything I’ve ever had before.

“With the ‘Wizard of Oz’ as my favorite movie I really wanted to take my imagination as far as it could go, and fortunately I had the opportunity to do just that for my school.”
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