The California Report Magazine is airing some of these stories and poems in collaboration with 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students with their writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. You can check out more of these stories at 826's podcast, Message in a Bottle.
by Lily, Grade 4, Bessie Carmichael Elementary
A love poem to rice and beans on Christmas: "You are amazing because Gallo Pinto, you are my best friend. You taste so good, I want to gobble you up."
The Day of Christmas
by Jason, Grade 7, Martin Luther King Middle School
A sibling prank: "I ran to the tree to open my presents when I saw the big one. I opened it quickly and was shocked to see that it was an empty box full of layers of wrappers. Disappointment flowed through my veins while exploding my mind at the same time. I was so angry that I could have cooked steak on my head."
I Love My Tribe
by Tina, Grade 12, Downtown High School
A story about gratitude: "The weather is cold enough to wear a leather jacket, but it's my community that keeps me warm. Just receiving hugs and even seeing my people, makes me feel like I'm safe."
My Secret Santa
by Timaureen, Grade 8, KIPP Bayview Academy
A family's secret Santa game: "I learned then, that no matter how many things there are in the world, you can have happiness in your family as long as you have love!"
My Family's Christmas
by Katrina, 7th Grade, Martin Luther King Middle School
A Christmas memory: "I ate a gingerbread man which was as good as going to Japan."
One Cold, Cloudy Saturday
by Annie, 7th grade, Martin Luther King Middle School
Volunteering at a food bank: "Even though the sun might not be shining, it doesn't mean it's going to be a sad day. One cold, cloudy Saturday was all it took to make people's day better."
El Valor de mi Madre
by Natalie, 12th grade, Burton High School
Gratitude for mom after almost losing her: "Now that we have our small arguments, I reflect and remember what had happened and just give her a smile in the middle of an argument, and rush to hug her."