Vt. woman's perfect punctuation - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. woman's perfect punctuation

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THETFORD, Vt. -

Fourth-graders at Thetford Elementary School are writing the town's PTO newsletter and having fun doing it.

"We are working on the newsletter together and it just feels like a big family," student Dylan Moody A'Ness said.

"I really like to write but I don't ever really have the time to do it," student Marian Zens said.

They know that good grammar, which includes proper punctuation, is important.

"Because then people can tell when it is a question, when it is a declarative sentence and when the sentence ends," student Dylan Kotlowitz explained.

"If it doesn't have good English, people wouldn't understand it," student Samara Spelman said.

It's not often kids can say they are learning from the best, but that's exactly the case.

"I learned it mostly on the job," Dana Cook Grossman said.

Cook Grossman is a retired medical magazine editor. She recently won a national contest for punctuation. Hundreds entered, but the award boiled down to just three sentences.

"Those three sentences had to use all 13 standard punctuation marks, and in them, you had to make the case for which punctuation mark you thought should be the official punctuation mark of the president of the United States," Cook Grossman said.

National Punctuation Day and the contest are organized by a former newspaper reporter in California with a passion for proper sentence structure that this East Thetford woman shares.

"Even small errors in a written copy can interfere ever so subtly with how easily they comprehend it," Cook Grossman said.

The self-proclaimed "Word Nerd" is passing that knowledge along to the kids.

"The questions they've asked and the answers they've given when I have tossed questions to them have really impressed me," she said.

"I think it is really cool that we get taught by somebody who won a national award," Zens said.

Making learning cool by doing in the correct way.

Cook Grossman shares the award with one other adult winner and two student winners. Click here to see Dana Cook Grossman's winning entry.

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