The Write Stuff
There has been an explosion of writing taking place on campus this week.
Please take some time and appreciate the writing samples included below.
You will discover essay submissions to a national writing contest from Middle Students that focus on the issues of world hunger and school shootings, amazing books written and illustrated by our Upper Elementary students that were read aloud to their Children’s House friends and are now on display in Harborlight’s library, journal entries entitled “Dreaming of Spring” written by Lower Elementary 2, and short autobiographies by Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop.
Middle School students wrote essay letters for the YES! Magazine Spring 2018 National Student Essay Contest.
Letters of Hope
This spring, students will read and respond to the YES! Magazine article, “Love Letters to the Resistance,” by Aura Bogado.
The article reviews the book, Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, in which editor Carolina de Robertis has compiled letters that convey a sense of hope in the face of today’s social and political turmoil. The letters are penned by 30 writers and addressed to people—past, present, and future—who hold importance in their lives. In these letters, the writers seek hope from elders, grandparents, activists, children, even strangers who mirror the despair—and hope—that people are feeling at this moment in time.
The Writing Prompt
Students, please respond to the writing prompt below with an up-to-700-word letter:
Think about what matters most to you about our country’s future. Write a letter to someone important to you, describing that future you imagine and hope for.
Essay submitted by Fleur
To My Future Daughter,
Hi there, it’s your mom. I recently read the Yes! Magazine, “Letters for Hope” article and decided to write you this letter. I want to start off by saying that the world we live in will never be perfect; there will always be flaws that need to be fixed. However, as you may know, some of these flaws are a bit harder to fix. When I began to think about this subject I realized that not everything is as perfect as it seems. As I look out of my bedroom window I see the sun, the clouds, some trees, and birds gliding swiftly through the air. When I broaden my perspective from my small state in Massachusetts to the entire country, which is the United States, I see change that has to be made. For you, I want a better future. I don’t want you living through the bad history, the history where we are struggling to learn from our past mistakes.
Recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there was another school shooting. Time after time this has happened, Politicians promise to find a solution, but instead we wait and never see any change. Now, finally, the survivors of the recent shooting have stepped up to bring change to our country. For you, I want there to be a tomorrow, and I want you to be able to live your life in peace. I don’t want you having a firearm in your house for protection, for protection from that possible gunman that might choose to shoot towards you.
Many are saying that the gunman was mentally ill, and maybe that was true, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that seventeen innocent lives were taken from us. We could’ve helped him; there were plenty of warning signs. This country needs to open its eyes. We need to open our eyes to the fact that there are many teenagers who are in need of help. They send out cries for help that are met with silence, and only sometimes they get a response. I don’t want this to be an issue for you; I don’t want you to ever go through any type of mental illness without somebody helping you. I don’t want this country being blinded by the idea that there is nothing anybody could’ve done, because that’s the easiest answer but definitely not the right one. In the back of our minds we know that we could’ve helped, but we weren’t paying as much attention to this matter as we should’ve.
Shootings bring so much pain into our hearts. We lose the people we care about and sometimes even blame ourselves for the fact that it happened. The recent gun debate gives us hope for this country. Finally people are speaking out, and most importantly they are making a difference. I want you to stand up for what you believe in; I don’t want you to be on the sidelines watching everything fall apart before your eyes. This recent shooting opened our county’s eyes to the fact that we need to change. We need to build a new name for our nation and protect our people.
Please don’t ever forget this. For you, I want there to be a tomorrow. I want you to speak out for what you believe in, even if others tell you not to. I don’t ever want you to feel afraid, like I do sometimes. I don’t want you living through the bad history, the history that many people seem to ignore. I want you to have the help that you need when you need it, and to have people looking out for you. I want you to have a better future. Mentally, I am processing everything that has happened in the past weeks. Not everything that you wish for can come true, but I have hope that what I wish for, for you, will come true. The childhood I am living through is a little bit rough and I don’t want you to have to go through that. I love you, and all I want is the best for you.
Your Mom, Fleur
Essay submitted by Athena
Hope for the Hungry
To My Future Children,
As I was reading an article from YES! Magazine, I saw that there was a competition called “Letters of Hope”, and it made me think about a global crisis going on right now. I hope that as you are reading this letter you are healthy and happy. I also hope that you take this letter under great consideration. I’m writing it because there is a very important crisis going on, and I hope that it doesn’t exist in your future.
During my childhood, right now, many adults and children are hungry. Across the globe, thirty-four million children suffer from malnutrition. Around one million children die each year from hunger. My hope for you is that you don’t go to bed hungry, and that I can provide food for you. Some of the people who go hungry are homeless. They have no jobs and no money, so many people are dying because they don’t have money to buy food. This major crisis has been ongoing for as long as I remember. It’s not just happening in America but all over the world. I hope that you won’t even know what this crisis is about.
Kids of all ages go to school hungry in many parts of the world. Their parents can’t pay for their breakfast or dinner. The schools try the best they can to feed these children. Some schools feed the students breakfast. Other schools wait until lunch and serve a big meal. Your Great Aunt Ali has a friend who teaches at a school that has many kids who are hungry. She brings extra snacks to school with her so that she can help them in her own little way. She feels heartbroken for the parents who can’t feed their children, and for the children that have to go hungry. I want much more for you. I hope you don’t ever have to go to school hungry.
When you go to the supermarket or pass street corners sometimes you see homeless people holding up signs that say, “I Need Food” or “Will Work for Food”. Almost everyone stares and then just drives by. It’s difficult to see, but it’s what many Americans see. I hope you don’t have to see that.
Many kids that are hungry also suffer from serious malnutrition that can be fatal. If they can’t afford food then they probably don’t have money, which means they also can’t afford to pay hospital bills. These parents sometimes have to watch their kids die. I can’t imagine what their parents must feel. It’s upsetting to think about, and health care can be so bewildering. Private hospitals don’t have free clinics, so people without insurance or the ability to pay have to be careful to choose a public hospital that will help them. The whole process can be so confusing.
There is good news! We now have a problem to solve, and people are becoming more educated about this issue. Our generation is working hard to solve this problem. I promise that I will continue to work on it so that you won’t have to worry about it.
Upper Elementary 3 published books for the school library. The books were read to the children in their sister classrooms and then put on display for all to enjoy. Please stop by the library and read their work.
Lower Elementary students wrote about what they are most looking forward to as the warm spring weather hopefully comes!
Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop examples