Artists in School Project
Partners Marathon Rotary
and Florida Keys Council of the Arts


Author Alex Flinn joined Marathon high school students on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 to discuss the writing process and encourage their involvement in creative writing. The appearance was arranged by Library Media Specialist Karen Hoth, who applied for funding by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.

Arts Council board member Lois Giffen then turned to the Marathon Rotary for assistance and received a $1,000 donation from the club. Ms. Flinn's visit affords local students an opportunity to hear from and work directly with a published author.

From left: Marathon Rotary President Allen Sells, author Alex Flinn,
Lois Giffen rerpresenting The Florida Keys Council of the Arts,
and Marathon H.S. Library Media Specialist Karen Hoth

Flynn's book, Breathing Underwater, is on the American Library Association's top ten books for young adults and presents a gripping story of dating violence. A second novel by Flynn, Breaking Point, is also a best seller widely read by young people.

During her time with students, Alex shared her experiences in the publication process and gave the students insights into how she finds ideas while writing. She then involved her listerners in a short writing exercise in which they were told to use memories to chreate character emotions. Following her presentations in the classroom, Flynn led an open discussion during the lunchtime break attended by 25 students whose schedules had precluded their attending the earlier sessions.

Rotary President Sells voiced enthusiasm and support for the school district and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts to continue to provide such first hand experiences to students. "We are a major supporter, financially and working directly with the high school teachers, promoting a range of activities like Challenge Day, Youth Ethics Initiative and leadership classes that promote excellence in our local schools, "says Sells. He observed that his club only two weeks ago gave $200 in gift certificates to the Library Media Specialist at Switlik Elementary School as prizes there for a reading contest that will last until the end of April. "I want those who attend our Rotary fund raisers to get an idea of the many good activities we support in Marathon," he said, "among the most worthy being encouragement of young people to to their best."

The next Artist in Schools deadline is May 31 for projects to take place next school year. For an application, visit

March 22 , 2006


Monica Haskell — 295-4369 or
Allen Sells — 305-240-1120