Over 600 grade school students descended on Bethany Lutheran College today to take their artistic and writing talents to the next level as part of The Young Writers & Artists Conference.

"This is one of my most favorite days of the year. To see all the students excited and the learning take place, I love to ask them about what they've learned and see the projects they've made, it's just really exciting to see them excited about learning," said Student Academic Enrichment Program Coordinator with South Central Service Cooperative Mary Hillmann.

Professionals were on hand to lead sessions inspiring students.

Classes involved anything from dance to clay modeling to learning about fiction and nonfiction writing.

"I'm going to be talking to them about celebrating their own unique stories and one of the ways that I think they begin to put some of those pieces together is right now," said keynote speaker and author Rachel Britz.

The conference strives to show students that being creative isn't limited to just writing and speaking.

"It's so many different things. It can be baking, it can be gardening it can be writing football plays, all of that creativity is artistic and it takes everyone's artistic expression to share our stories and bring joy to the world," said Britz.

For those interested in attending the conference, March 8th is the last day.

The conference is open to students in grades 3 through 9.

Walk–in registration is available starting at 8:30 am at the Sports and Fitness Center at Bethany Lutheran College. For more details, visit http://www.mnscsc.org/student/ywac

--KEYC News 12