Break Out the Quills – It’s Game Time


Gerald Decker, Founder, President

Break out the Quills! It’s Game Time


Gerald Decker, Publisher


As the new school year is underway in the Cape Fear area, we at The Teen Scene are reflecting on our progress in meeting our goals. Our mission is to promote basic writing skills among teens.

We know there is a need for this program because too many teachers, administrators, business owners, and others are quick to express their support for our efforts. They also quickly acknowledge the dire need for what we are trying to accomplish. An 8th-grade student commented, “Mr. Decker, we have not had a normal school year since the 4th grade,” meaning since 2018 and Hurricane Florence.

Since then, many aspects of education have been affected by either weather or pandemics, such as band and sports. However, they have programs for practice that have allowed for reasonable recovery of those programs. Writing, on the other hand, has no practice field.

When Teen Scene, Inc started in this area in June 2020, there was only one school in Brunswick County with a Journalism Club and a school newspaper-West Brunswick High School. Today we are proud to say that BC Early College High School now has a dedicated Journalism Club, Journalism class, and school paper.

Additionally, we have a growing program at Leland Middle School under the supervision of Principal Shawn Black, English Teacher Kathryn Pender, and CIS Success Coach Ruth Thompson. This year, LMS will have a new Creative Writing Class to build on the last year’s progress at LMS.

Ms. Thompson commented on our effort at the school last year, saying, “The Journalism Club at Leland Middle School has been amazing! We have some very talented students here at LMS. They contributed many interesting and informative stories to the Teen Scene newspaper. I am excited to continue the writing classes this coming year.”

At Cedar Grove Middle School, Principal Justin Hayes and Language Arts Teacher Meredith Zell have been very supportive. We had a small but very involved group last year and are looking forward to growing the program this year. Ms. Zell commented on how exciting it was to see her students published each month. She also stated, “Writing is a great way to connect with others, but writing can also be therapeutic in helping you deal with a stressful situation.”

Thanks to Principal Rebecca Heitz and Language Arts Teacher Angela Vega, we will again have a program at Town Creek Middle for the coming year.

We also now have great program sponsors who support us in this effort. They include WWAYTV-3, Focus Broadband, Brunswick Arts Council, NB Chamber of Commerce, and many local businesses.

We have every reason to expect this coming year will be even better than last year, thanks to the educators who made the leap of faith and gave us a chance. Now there are five schools with Journalism programs. If we never do anything else, we did that.