The Language Arts program chair for Marco Island Charter Middle School, Jerra Minning, organized the school’s first Author Day. The assignment for the students was to write a newspaper article about living on the #1 island per TripAdvisor.com, from their perspective. Five presenters spoke to each of the seventh grade classes sharing with students their own unique perspective on writing and the publishing process. Once students completed the assignment, teachers reviewed them and chose four to be published in Coastal Breeze News. Congratulations to the young writers published below!
Marco Island was just announced, by Trip Advisor, as the number one island destination in the United States and number four in the entire world! What an honor. Though you don’t need Trip Advisor to know the true beauty of our beloved island; all you need is the no-filter scoop from an Islander’s view.
Marco Island is such a close knit community that has so much to offer; starting with its wildlife. On one side of this island you have the beach shore where you can gaze upon frolicking dolphins and carousing sea gulls. Also there you can swim with the abundant marine animals from gentle manatees to fidgety fish. This all can be done just from the comfort of your hotel room or just a few steps outward. If you want a very special experience that you can only get down here you just need to travel about three miles to your very own slice of the Everglades. Here you can feast your eyes on fabulous mangroves that house nurseries of minuscule fish and crustaceans, as well as hundreds of birds that all have unique characteristics. For example, the Rosette Spoonbill is dainty and graceful, while the Osprey is watchful and secluded. Rent a kayak and experience this first hand. Marco has so many amenities to offer but to have a true Trip Advisor experience you have to check out the wildlife. I know that is what draws me here.
I cast my fishing line into the raging seas. The sun is beating down on me while my baseball cap gets caught in the wind and gently floats away into the sea. I refuse to reach for it because I know now it is free. The Torpedo rocks in place; the sea’s salt sprinkling on the boat. I feel a tug on my fishing line; it’s a big one I say to myself, and this time I won’t let it get away. I take a step back knowing that I must not give up. We are playing a game of tug-of-war. Then I hear a snap, this triggers my instincts. I grab for the other end of the line hoping that I didn’t lose the war. I tell my dad to take us further into the sea, it’s time to get revenge.
Marco Island is a one of a kind place. With its unique features it excludes itself from any other areas in the world. It’s a living island; the beach carrying the gorgeous salted sea on its back. Even turtles choose it as their home. Not only does this breath taking beach scenery catch your eyes there are activities to do. For a low price you can kayak your way through the various waterways of the Island. It’s not only the sights that make this island special, Marco Island is also famous for its kind civilians. If you are having a bad day, head down to the beach and there you will be greeted bypeople whose smile will make you smile. Marco Island is a wonderful place and nothing can compare to it.
As a resident of Marco Island, I am extremely appreciative of all the things the island has to offer. I believe the permanent residents here don’t realize quite how lucky they are. When you wake up to 80 degree weather in January, you tend to take advantage of the beauty surrounding you every day. In my opinion, the beaches are the best part of Marco Island. Walking on the sugar-white sand into the crystal blue gulf is a purely blissful experience. The hollow crunch of the shells under you r feet could practically be classified as therapy. I am thankful for the beauty that Marco Island’s beaches capture.
Along with the beaches, the weather is also enjoyable. While all the northern states are freezing for three to four months a year, we are sweating twelve months a year. Rain is rare and the sun is always out. It’s so relaxing to listen to the palm trees swaying in the constant breeze. I honestly can’t seem to figure out how some of us struggle to get a tan; the sun is bright from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year! I am immensely grateful for the stunning place I live. From the incredible beaches to the superior weather, Marco Island truly is the #1 island.
Recently, Trip Advisor announced Marco Island as the fourth “Best Island” in the world to visit. With its astounding wildlife and even friendlier people there is no question as to why this little island ranked so high.
Take a walk through the sugar-soft sand of the beach and hear the wind blow through the palm fronds as waves crash and sing. If you look up you’ll find that greetings and wishes for a good day parade around you. A friendly smile won’t be difficult to find. Look even further and the cloudless sky reveals a glimmering sun peeking through. Small things like this make it fascinating to live here. Once you cross the bridge it’s a different world.
Ten months ago I would’ve been one of the tourists found sunbathing at the beach. Now, I live here year-round and there’s a new surprise each day. Burrowing owls twitter in late February, manatee lumber through the sea-grass, and hundreds of species of birds can be found if you just look. All seven miles of the island are accessible by bike so you can enjoy the weather and sights simultaneously. The Everglades can be found on the other side of the island, so the music of wildlife surrounds you. Welcome to Marco Island, all you have to do is open your eyes, listen with your ears and this little island will take your breath away.
The Five Presenters at Author Day were:
• Justo Herrera has written poetry and short stories in his native Spanish as well as English languages. He studied grammar, editing, plot development, character development and point of view.
• Michelle Hurtley has written for various publications, worked as an editor and even works with her family ghostwriting full-sized books!
• Kendra Brady was a teacher for 32 years. While teaching she authored three children’s books. She has self-published two books on the Marco Island Men’s Softball League.
• Tarik Ayasun is a local businessman and award-winning columnist for Coastal Breeze News. He is also president of the Marco Island Charter Middle School board.
• Valerie Simon is the publisher of Coastal Breeze News. She has been in the newspaper industry for over thirty years.