The end of the year is always a hectic time at 826 Valencia. Once our workshops, writing projects, and tutoring programs draw to a close, we begin gearing up to publish the wonderful work that our smart, funny, and hard-working students produce over the course of the semester. By the end of the fall semester, we’d released ten new publications, including Now Shines Bright, featuring excerpts of memoirs from seventh-grade students at Everett Middle School, a new issue of the Valencia Bay-Farer, the 20th volume of the 826 Quarterly, and the debut issue of Mission Magazine with a theme of education!
What kinds of things do students write about, you may wonder, if you haven’t had the pleasure of working one-on-one with a young writer. Teodoro K-D. is a third-grader in our after-school program at Buena Vista Horace Mann. In this brief snapshot from the poem “My Life,” he describes the world he comes from with clarity and grace:
I am from my mom rushing me in the morning.
I am from a cactus two blocks away, spiky as a porcupine
I am from a dad who takes me to San Jose every Christmas,
Also, a dad who tells me to never give up.