SPEAK – Richard Butler School teacher Maren Baum eases her students into the stress and social pressures of school through a creative project inspired by the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The book is about a student who faces the first day of high school with no friends and feelings of isolation. The only solace she finds is in art class where she is instructed to make an object that speaks for them. Baum instructs her eighth graders to create a tree accompanied by an essay that explains how it speaks for them. The school is located in Butler.