In this age of Tik Tok, Snapchat, and texting – with all its shorthand – we may think the written word isn’t all that important.

What I would assure you is nothing is further from the truth. It is well known (and supported by an abundance of research) that writing is a proven method to deepen understanding and improve critical thinking skills. And for those of us who engage in social media, the ability to analyze what we are seeing, reading, or hearing; is it accurate? what is the author’s purpose? is something all of us should value.

Braham Area Schools believes the written word is essential, and as a result, has made it a focus in our district. One of the ways we are doing this is with a recognition program titled, Challenger Deep. The name for the recognition program comes from the lowest point in the Earth’s crust – a deep trench in the Pacific Ocean – and you may well wonder how we choose the name. Well, we want our students to think deeply, and more importantly, no one was around to argue with the superintendent when the decision was made.

One part of the Challenger Deep program is the publication of student work on the district’s website. I would encourage you to take a few minutes and see what our students are writing about while recognizing that becoming a good writer takes time and repetition (I’m still working on it).

I am proud of the staff at ISD No. 314 for undertaking this task and making writing a priority at Braham Area Schools. It’s not the easiest of instructional strategies to utilize, but the ultimate payoff is helping students develop those critical thinking skills which will make them valuable contributors to our communities.

Finally, remember what author Margaret Atwood wrote: “A word after a word after a word is power.”

Transitioning to upcoming events in our district, please note a few of the following:

• FFA Greenhouse Sales, May 5-7, 12-14 (District Greenhouse).

• ECFE Big Truck Day, May 7 at 10 a.m. (HS Parking Lot).

• Music Concerts. Multiple nights in May, see Community Calendar.

• Grades 1-3 Track & Field Day, May 11.

• Grades 4-6 Track & Field Day, May 18.

• Awards Night, May 15 at 5:30 p.m. (C100)

• HS Graduation, May 27 at 7 p.m. (HS)

Keep in mind Braham is big enough to offer opportunity, and small enough to stand out. Contact me at 320-396-5199, 320-288-6634, or should you have questions. Follow the district on our website,, Facebook, or Twitter at: @Braham_Schools or my own feed @Supt_Gagner.

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