A Love of Writing Lasts a Lifetime

Read and hear the work of our young writers!


Read It Here First: Thornhill Elementary Food Writers!

Our 3rd and 4th grade students at Thornhill Elementary have been savoring the art of writing! From their teacher Vanessa: "In class we dive into the language of food - we personify food, we write odes to our favorite foods and even spend time thinking about our own experiences with food."

"People have been writing about food since they have been putting words down. Food is such a central part of all of our lives - it keeps us alive, it brings our families and friends together, it expresses how our cultures differ from one another and how they are the same."

Read our young writers' work in their own handwriting - click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Let's Dive Into Food!

Wonderful Pumpkin Pie

When you meet this tasty treat go ahead and eat.
The flowers aren't even as sweet as pumkin pie.
The pumkin pies fly up into the skys.
Pumkin pie is famous on Thanksgiving night.
Oh wonderful pumkin pie.

Ode to Marshmallows

Quattro's Ode, written after students learned about the origin and intention of odes.

Ode to Candy

Erika's ode to candy came at the perfect time - Halloween!


Mill Creek Elementary's Secret Writing Society!


Mill Creek Elementary's Secret Writing Society!

This fall, young writers in 3rd and 4th grade at Mill Creek Elementary in Geneva, Illinois became part of a secret writing society and entered the world of all things untold! We had a wonderful time exploring and writing about all kinds of secrets - secret codes, secret identities, secret recipes and more. Here are some of their writing projects - click on each picture to see the work in his/her own writing!

During "Secret Recipes", students came up with their own recipe of themselves by thinking of themselves as an ingredient list. They shared what makes them special in terms of ingredients like personality, talents, likes, etc.!

Recipe of Me by Olivia

We talked about characters that have secret identities (like Clark Kent/Superman), and how these characters change from their "ordinary" selves to their super-human selves. The students created their own character with a secret identity, then created imaginative stories about those characters!


Pickles and Boo by Aggie


Darth Starkiller A.K.A Master Ark! by Nikita

"He is the Padwan of Darth Ren. He has a blue and red light saber. He would have an oxygen mask on. And he has a gray face and has no hair, beard or mustache. Also, he has a giant scar on the right side of his face. Darth Starkiller turns off his red light saber and takes off his oxygen mask and turns it off. Also, he turns of a special computer on his chest so he would be able to breathe. Also, he is hunting a Jedi named Ajjaie Ventress. Later he finds Darth Ren choking Ajjaie Ventress and he gets his light saber and fights Darth Ren but at the last second his robot arm was chopped off and his computer was damaged and he couldn't breathe and was thrown off the 1,000 story building!!!!!!!!"


Mill Creek Elementary Writers!


Mistah F.A.B. drops in at Oakland Charter Academy


Mistah F.A.B. drops in at Oakland Charter Academy

Our students at Oakland Charter Academy (OCA) started class last week with this worksheet:

What they didn't expect was that the rap artist on their worksheet was going to walk into the classroom!

We arranged for Oakland Hip-Hop legend, Mistah F.A.B to make a surprise visit to our students at Oakland Charter Academy. F.A.B. began writing poetry at a young age to grapple with the difficult circumstances of his childhood. In high school, he turned his poetry into rap lyrics, and eventually into a successful career as a rap artist. 

F.A.B. talked to the kids about the power of writing, about the importance of believing in themselves and of going for their dreams. He said, "Anything I want to do in this life, pen and paper is gonna get it for me." 

Some students shared their writing out loud and experienced the impact that their words had on their peers and on F.A.B. We were all moved by their honesty and willingness to be heard. 

F.A.B. invited the students to give him a list of words that he then incorporated into a freestyle rap (using the words in exactly the order the kids wrote them)!

Smile when you hear your word!



Fletcher Maynard Authors - Read It Here First!

Our 2nd-5th grade writers at Fletcher Maynard Academy in Cambridge, MA have been having a great time writing about treasure and found objects with "TMWFI!" teacher Kate.


Students wrote about what a found object is, where they might find one and/or what the object is used for in a short story.

There was a dolly with a lot of makeup and a cute tutu. One day she got lost in the dryer. When we went to the dryer there was nothing in there! I thought a monster ate the dolly because all we saw was a little foot. After that happened, I went to my room and jumped into bed and cried for an hour. I opened my eyes and the dolly was sitting under my pillow. I thought it had all been a bad dream…”It wasn’t a dream,” whispered the dolly. 



The marble had a blue line and it was clear. I called it “my little booger.” I lost it in an ocean themed room. It was covered in blue and indigo tiles, wallpaper and paint. All I know is my marble fell on the ground and rolled away. I lost track of it and it went in to another dimension!



After listening to a story about long lost twins (a "treasure" is not always an object!), students wrote their own stories about long lost twins.

Once upon a time there were long lost twins sisters named Daicha and Tasha. Tasha loved to travel a lot and Daicha loved to stay in one place. Tasha loved to find things and bury them. Daicha loved to play with very fun toys. One time, Daicha went to the beach with her family. She was going to jump in the ocean when she tripped on something. It was a very old gold clock!



Once there were three girls and they went to school together. They were best friends. The girl’s names were Emma, Marcia and Celine. They decided because they were best friends for such a long time that they wanted to go on a trip. So they went to California all together. They had a nice home in California and a nice time swimming. It was a really pretty straw house and it was close to a big ocean. One day, Marcia went to go swimming and she didn’t return. Celine and Emma wondered where she was!


Students explored the idea of "treasure" - what makes something valuable?

“Roza we need to talk so come to my room, “ Roza’s mom shouted. Roza ran to her mom’s room. Roza’s mom sighed and said, “There’s something important I need to tell you.” “Yes,” Roza said in a worried voice. “We need you to go to the island called the Lost Island.” “Why?” Rosa asked. “Because we need someone your age to go so we chose you.”



“When are we leaving?” Rosa asked. “No you are going alone,” her mom told her. ”I’m going alone?” Roza said. “Yes, I’m afraid so,” her mother said in a sad voice. “You need to go pack because the plane will be leaving in two hours.” “Ok I’ll go pack.”

While Roza was packing her stuff she came across a necklace of her family. While she was looking at it a tear came down her eye so she put it in her pocket and started packing some more.



She packed clothes, stuff for her hair, sunglasses, a notebook to write about her trip and some other things. When she was done it was time to go. So her mom drove her to the airport. When they got to the airport Roza walked to the plane she was getting on. When she was on the plane it started to take off. Once it took off she started to write in her notebook about the plane ride.




Creative to the Core at Madera Elementary!


Creative to the Core at Madera Elementary!

This fall at Madera Elementary in the East Bay, we were “Creative to the Core,” learning about different kinds of writing in really fun ways while supporting California Common Core State Standards. Our eight weeks flew by like a rocket and were as fun as a waterslide in August. (Can you tell that we covered similes?)

From humorous how-to instructions to persuasive opinion pieces to good old-fashioned narratives, these third- and fourth-grade students wrote up a storm. Inspired by poetry, pictures, and each other, they came up with quite a range of work. Here are just a few of the topics we explored either as a class or individually:

·       Should parents limit kids’ screen time?

·       The pros & cons of starting the school day later

·       What would happen if gummy bears started flowing from the kitchen faucet?

·       Writing from the perspective of a turtle

·       Dogs in scuba gear

In addition to individual projects, we also created group stories, challenged ourselves to write a paragraph without the letter “t” (that still makes sense!), and practiced active listening while classmates shared.

We wrote a lot, read a lot, and laughed a lot. Could there be anything better?



Bret Harte Young Authors - Read It Here First!

The young writers at our program with Oakland Leaf at Bret Harte Elementary in Oakland have come up with some interesting poetry this fall. They have also taken a look at how the world would be by writing through the lens of "If I ruled the world".  Our writers have played with personification and tapped into their own creativity during free writing time. Click on each piece to read their creations!

Personification & inanimate object writing:

My Name Is poems: derived from students’ names that reflect who they are and where they come from. 

If I Ruled the World poems: These kids are ready to see some changes in their world.

Creative writing excerpts: A winter night in Tokyo, a fiery inferno and a sibling conflict come to life in these stories.

A few of our young authors: