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World of Wellesley recognizes 5th grade students for their writing

Fourteen 5th graders from Wellesley’s seven public elementary schools were recognized at the start of the June School Committee meeting at Town Hall for their written work on diversity and inclusion. They tackled topics such as historical segregation in the United States; Cesar Chavez’s work as the voice for farmworkers; Elizabeth Cady’s work for women’s rights; and more.

World of Wellesley President Michelle Chalmers and Superintendent David Lussier pose for pictures with some of the writers.

The yearly essay contest was spearheaded by the World of Wellesley (WOW) organization, which is dedicated to making Wellesley a welcoming community where diversity is celebrated. WOW president Michelle Chalmers and Superintendent David Lussier were on hand to congratulate students on their work,

Here are the names of the students, in alphabetical order, and the school each represented:

Ella Austin, Hunnewell School
Anshika Chadda, Fiske School
Alexander Cheng, Hardy School
Maisie Fitzpatrick, Schofield School
Jeffrey Peng, Hardy School
Louisa Goldberg, Schofield School
Sydney Haddad, Sprague School
Cotter Healey, Bates School
Alexander Hirschey, Hunnewell School
Noor Kashif, Sprague School
Natalia Medina, Bates School
Maxwell Morrow, Upham School
Sloane O’Reilly, Fiske School
Antonia Wied, Upham School

Here are all the essays:

Ellen Austin, Hunnewell School

Martin Luther King Jr was one of the people who fought against segregation. He spoke at the Lincoln Memorial and inspired thousands. People from all over the country, (whites and blacks) went to go hear him speak. He gave a very famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” He gave that speech during The March on Washington. The march took place on August 28, 1963. Even though he died 5 years later after the March on Washington, we are still inspired by him today. That is why I am writing from a little girl’s perspective. She is confused on what is happening when she is at the speech, but learns it is very important for the future of this country, and that segregation was wrong.

The young girl walked through the crowd with her dad and brother by her side, her dad squeezed his hand around the girls wrist, telling her it would be OK. The girl wanted to be home, but her parents wanted her to go, she did not understand. Why would they bring me to a crowd this big, she thought. It has at least 200,000 people. Policemen surrounded the crowd, even though there was no fighting. The policeman stood there like statues, but they were watching every move the crowd made. People were holding signs saying, “UAW says: Segregation ROBS CHILDREN OF THEIR BIRTHRIGHT.”

The girl was confused she did not know what that meant but she had a feeling she was going to find out soon. Another sign said “We Demand Equal Rights NOW!” The girl had no idea what they were talking about. As she was walking she saw the sun reflect off the pond and she also saw the reflection of a really tall building. She asked her brother, “What is that?” The brother replied, “It is the place where segregation will end.” Segregation, the same word that was on the sign, what does that mean?

As they walked further, the crowd got bigger and bigger until they could walk no more, with each step they got closer to a big building, it was the Lincoln Memorial! A lot of men were near the podium. The first man to speak in the microphone started to talk but the girl was not listening. She was too busy staring at a stranger who said he was from Montana. She was stunned, Why
would they come all the way from Montana just to come to a really busy street? As the girl looked around and she started asking more questions. She looked to her brother hoping he would give her an answer. But he gave no answer, he just looked at her with no expression on his face. Then her dad said, “Hey are you getting hungry? Let’s get something to eat.”

An hour later the girl, her brother and her father went back to the crowd that got even bigger. People started singing “Jamesy Crow Must Go!” It was hotter than before, because all the people were tight together and it was 87 degrees. The girl’s dad put the girl on his shoulders, because he said it was really important to see what was about to happen. All of a sudden a man walked on the stage and everyone gasped and someone shouted, “Martin Luther King Jr!”

“Who is that?” she thought, He started to talk. “I am happy to join you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” Now the girl was really listening, This event is going to be famous. Wow! She did not think too much about being famous she really just wanted to think about what he was saying. She did not know many of the words that he was saying but then her mind started working and she could understand just some of it. It felt like she was standing there for hours but she did not mind, she could stand there for her whole life just to listen to his firm but gentle voice. His words were smooth, smooth as silk. He was standing tall with pride and confidence. The girl could fall asleep but was fighting not to, she wanted to keep on listening, but then everything had to come to an end. He started to slow down and she knew that he would stop talking.

The guy up on the stage said, “When we allow freedom to ring from every city and hamlet, from every state and every city we will speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men and Jews join hands and sing in the words of the Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.”

Then the girl finally realized what was happening, why black people could not go to the same water fountain, why black people could not go to some restaurants. Then one word came to her mind, the same word she did not understand before, but know it was clear to her.

Segregation.

Anshika Chadda

What is racism? Racism is the act of people believing they are better than someone depending on their skin color. When people believe in racism, other people can get hurt. No one has the right to take your pride away from you. Earlier in history, many, many people believed in racism. But now it is illegal to make big actions like this. Even so, this doesn’t stop people from believing in it. Racism is wrong because the outside doesn’t matter, the inside is what does, and judging someone for that is wrong.

Something else that gets taken away from people is education. Similar to racism, earlier in history men got better privileges than women. Women were mistreated and people assumed that men were stronger and smarter, where women were left to clean up. They didn’t have the privilege of an education. This means that they didn’t get the chance to learn and grow like we do today. Do you think this is right? I don’t think so, and neither did Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist, age 21 who stands for girls education. Malala went through many challenges, such as being shot in the head, at just age 15 because of her bravery. But even so, Malala was determined to do what was right, no matter the challenge. This is the story of how Malala knew when things weren’t right and used determination and bravery to become a leader.

One instance of when Malala Yousafzai used determination and bravery to become a leader, is when she wrote her book, I am Malala. I am Malala is the series of events about Malala’s own life and her thoughts. It shows that Malala was born on July 12, 1997 in Pakistan. She has two parents, and two younger brothers, who are there to support her every step of the way. Yousafzai’s father worked as a teacher for a girls school, and that is what inspired her to stand up for it. Now, Yousafzai says that all of her inspiration and her support comes from her father.

When she was young, Malala had a thirst for knowledge. In 2007, when Malala was ten years old, girls were banned from going to school. Malala, determined to go to school, decided to stand against this. Because of this, when she was 15 years old on October 9, 2012 seated on a bus coming home from an exam, two Taliban men shot her directly in the head. She become unconscious for about a week and woke up in a hospital in England, safe from harm. But even so, Malala recovered and still determined to
give young women what is right, continued her hard work of helping other people.

People were worried about her, but as she has shown, there is no mountain she can’t climb. Malala writing I am Malala really demonstrates how far she has come, and how much she has done for others. Malala’s passion, determination, and bravery is what has brought her to write her book, inspiring many around the world, like myself. This is what shows that Malala has used determination and bravery to write her book, and become a leader around the world. Malala is a great example of when you stand strong, nothing can stop from doing what is right.

Another prime example of when Malala Yousafzai used determination and bravery to become a leader is when she got shot in the head. As I said before, Malala’s shot was a huge impact in Malala’s life. Malala’s determination led to serious consequences. People disapproved of Malala standing up for girls’ education. They wanted her out of the way, so they could take over. So they decided that violence was the answer instead of words. On the 9th of October, Malala, after a morning of testing returned home in a school bus talking to her friends about schoolwork. Two masked Taliban men stopped the bus and yelled, “Which one of you is
Malala?” Unidentified, the gunman took three shots, one bullet hitting Malala from the side of her left eye, through her neck and into her shoulder. She dropped to the ground. She became unconscious for about one week. She was extremely close to death, but after the incident she was brought to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in England, where doctors just barely saved her life.

In England, Malala was safe from any harm, or people trying to threaten or hurt her. Malala’s family and friends were trying to stop her from continuing. They wanted what was best, and what was safe for her. But as we know, Malala is a determined, strong leader. She, of course was still in shock, but that didn’t stop her from continuing what she thought was right. Many people would have given up from that point on, but not Malala. She used this incident as a reason to work harder. She became stronger, because she had faced her fears and now, wasn’t afraid of anything. Malala really proves that no matter the obstacles keep working hard.

My final example of when Malala Yousafzai used determination and bravery to become a leader, is when she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize for her fight for girls education and her determination even when obstacles came in her
way. Malala Yousafzai was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 on October 10, 2014. She was the second Pakistani to receive the award. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is such an accomplishment for Malala because it shows
how for she has come and what she has accomplished in her life. Also, winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a huge landmark for herself and her family because it showed everyone that no matter the obstacles you can bounce back and accomplish great things.

Malala and her family were so proud of the things she did, and her speech reflected on that. One part of her speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations that stood out to me was this: “The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. My dreams are the same.” This strongly demonstrates that whenever something doesn’t go the way you want it to, which happens a lot, you become stronger and
more passionate for your dreams.

Another strong piece that stood out to me and comes a little later in the speech is this: “… today I am focusing on women’s rights and girls’ education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women social activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But, this time, we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights, rather I am focusing on women to be independent to fight for themselves.” This shows that Malala strongly agrees that women deserve the same rights as men and independence, too.

Malala Yousafzai is a woman of determination, passion, and bravery who works hard towards her goals. No matter the obstacles, she bounces back and accomplish great things. Malala used her determination and bravery to become a leader. My main reasons to support this were that she wrote her own book, I am Malala, she got shot in the head by the Taliban, and lastly got awarded for the Nobel Peace Prize. A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat determination and hard work.

Alexander Cheng, Hardy School

Someone who I have been directly involved with and inspired me to better understand cultural and racial diversity is my mom. She has been volunteering at the Wellesley Free Library for 6 months to tutor people who are new to Wellesley and are learning English. Hearing about her work has inspired me to be a more welcoming person towards the new people of Wellesley. I think that Wellesley and the world could be a better place if people followed her lead, because more people would feel welcome in many different communities.

One thing my mom inspires me to do is to welcome people from different countries, races, and religions. I have opportunities to do this in many different situations such as at school, in sports, at my summer camp, and more. Doing this helps me meet many different people I wouldn’t usually have a chance to meet. One time, my mom invited an exchange student from Turkey to stay with us over Thanksgiving. This was interesting, because the student was from a country that is far away and I don’t hear about it often. I learned many things about Turkey from her and what is different and the same about life there and here in the United States.

There are many different ways Wellesley and the world could be a better place if people followed my mom’s lead. By helping people learn English, my mom helps people who are new to Wellesley feel more at home. Doing this makes people want to move here and doing this also makes Wellesley a more diverse community. This can help people learn more about different countries in the world and their customs.

My mom has inspired me to better understand cultural and racial diversity. We can all do something to make others feel welcome such as being a good friend to someone new and saying hi first. If we all do something, Wellesley will be a more welcoming place for everyone.

Maisie Fitzpatrick

Cesar Chavez was an American hero. He was the voice of the farmworkers. He spoke for those without voices. He fought for those with no fight left in them. And he helped those who couldn’t help themselves. When Cesar Chavez was in just 8th grade, he had to drop out of school to work. Even with both parents and most, if not all, children working, their total income was barely enough to live on. Cesar had four siblings, and they all worked, but even with all seven members of the Chavez family working, they were still unimaginably poor.

When his family lost their grocery store and ranch in the Great Depression, they moved to California to become farm workers. Working a farm is a tough job. Bad conditions, difficult work, and low pay were all problems that many families, including Cesar’s, had to face. Cesar worked in the fields until he was 25. (He was in the United
States Navy from 1946-1948. He later described the experience as the “two worst years of my life”). In 1952, he became an organizer for the Community Service Organization (CSO). The CSO was a civil rights group for Hispanic people. With the CSO, Cesar traveled around California, urging Mexican-Americans and other Latino citizens to register to vote. He also made many speeches supporting workers rights.

In 1958, he became the national director of CSO. While in this position, he organized the CSO to challenge abuses of the bracero program. The bracero program was a set of laws that helped Mexican American farm workers. However, many employers found loopholes in the program and abused it. In 1962, Cesar left the CSO and started the National Farm Workers Association (now the United Farm Workers) with Dolores Huerta. When they learned about the Delano Grape Strike held by farm workers in the
Filipino-American community, they were encouraged to hold their own strike. Six months later, a large group of Californian farm workers, led by Cesar and Dolores, marched from Delano to Sacramento. The NFWA also asked citizens across the country to boycott grapes in support of farm workers rights.

Another strike led by the NFWA (UFW) was the Salad Bowl strike, the largest farm worker strike in U.S. history. During his time as an activist, Cesar fasted many times in support of the rights of farm workers. Many people believe that this contributed to his
death at age 66. He could have thought about his health, said, “this isn’t worth it.” But no. He gave up his health for a cause he believed in. And that makes him an activist. He was a passionate person who cared more about the well-being of other people than his own. He was determined to make the lives of farm workers better, and he did.

However, though Cesar worked and heavily impacted the rights of farm workers, the situation that many of them are in is still pretty tough. As of 2018, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, farm workers were paid an average of $12.19 per hour. That same year, the average American worker earned $27.16 per hour. That’s about $15 more! Farm workers also work 42 hours a week, as opposed to the 34.5 hours that the average American works per week. Wait. That’s not right. Farm workers work more hours and get paid less? That’s just one of the many hardships farm workers go through. Although things have greatly improved, there is still so much work to be done for the cultivators of this country’s food supply.

Louisa Goldberg, Schofield School

I have many heroes. But none that I respect more than Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was one of the first ever feminist, she was the author of the Declaration of Sentiments, which launched the women’s rights movement, and even when things failed she still did not stop and was willing to do anything to achieve her goals and even when her own friends said that she was too radical, she persisted. She is my hero.

Elizabeth was one of the first ever feminists. Even in her early years she portrayed the desire for equality of all people. In her autobiography she says that when her only brother, Eleazar died her father told her, “Oh my daughter I wish you were a boy.” That memory would alway cling to her, and would be the fuel for everything she did. She met Susan B. Anthony in 1847, and together they would create the Declaration Of Sentiments, with the help of other feminist as well. But she advocated not only for voting rights for women but, for divorce rights. But that was widely unpopular. Even Anthony was hesitant and Lucy Stone, a powerful feminist from Boston, was outraged. But Elizabeth didn’t care. She had been bullied around her whole life by her father, and then her husband, she was going to take a stand no matter what.

At the time of 1866 Elizabeth and her friend Susan B. Anthony were campaigning in New York to give women the vote. Elizabeth in one of her speeches said, “The spirit of the age impels an onward step… the lifting of the entire nation into the practical realization of our republican idea.” She was telling the crowd that America was found on the hope of freedom and equality, but while man got all the freedom they could have, women had no legal representation, because they couldn’t vote. Even though Elizabeth and Susan produced 28,000 petitions in support of suffrage, even though it was the right thing to do, the women of New York were denied their right to vote. Instead of complaining and sulking, Elizabeth went to Kansas to campaign
for women’s right to vote. But they yet again failed. And further bad news came, Suzan and Elizabeth’s newspaper The Revolution went out of business.

Elizabeth refused to sulk. Writing to Susan she said, “You know when I drop anything, I drop it absolutely. You can not imagine what a deep gulf lies between me and the past.” Even after countless defeats Elizabeth refused to mourn. She would stay strong and go on, for the sake of freedom for all. Elizabeth was not just an advocate for women’s rights, but she also advocated for fair divorce systems, and spoke out against the church, who she thought was sexist. She also advocated for fair treatment of woman at
work.

Elizabeth and Susan created the National Woman Suffrage Association, with a agenda to give the woman the vote, for fair divorces, and equal treatment at work. But many other feminist disagreed with this agenda, They thought it was too radical, and they thought the main focus should be on woman getting the votes. So, Lucy Stone, a former friend of Susan’s, formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. “I think we need two national associations for woman suffrage, so that those who do
not take the tone of the Revolution (Elizabeth and Susan’s newspaper), may yet have an organization which they can work in harmony,” wrote Lucy Stone. She made it clear that she thought Elizabeth was far too radical. To add more flames to the fire, Lucy set up her own newspaper, The Woman’s Journal, and made sure to release it on the second anniversary of The Revolution.

Elizabeth had to persevere through this all, and the added pressure of the newspapers. But she kept moving on to the beat of her
own drum. I admire Elizabeth for her courage and persistence, and most of all for going her own way and listening to her heart. She had been told what to do every day of her life just because she was a woman, and she unlike so many others realized that it was wrong. And she had the courage to stand up, and speak her mind. We have her to thank for everything.

Sydney Haddad, Sprague School

Angie Thomas was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi in 1988. Angie Thomas is an author, she wrote The Hate U Give, and On The Come Up. I think it is important that she writes these books because it helps young adults understand racial diversity, and see what real people are going through.

Angie Thomas is the author of The Hate U Give, or THUG. In the book a black teenager gets pulled over and shot for no reason by a white cop, his friend 16 year old Starr fights for racial equality. This is a situation that a lot of people have been through, and are
going through. She got inspired to write the book by the Black Lives Matter movement. And she could relate to the book, “… fortunately for me, it wasn’t losing a friend like Starr did, but unfortunately it was the experience of my mom losing her job and my family going into that crisis mode.” The book was from her own experience.

Even though this book is fiction, this has happened to other people, like Trayvon Martin. He was a black teenager who was shot by someone who was trying to protect himself, even though Trayvon was unarmed. It was controversy that Zimmerman (the man that shot him) was not punished. This is what Black Lives Matter means, because many people think if this was a white teenager then Zimmerman could’ve been arrested, or at least there would be more anger towards the situation.

When I saw the trailer for the movie, it interested me and I really wanted to see it. When I saw it, it made me have a better understanding of racial diversity, and also understand that a lot of people are going through this, and it is not fair. Angie Thomas
wanted young adults to know that, “The Hate U Give I know, birthed several young activist has and I’m so happy with that.” I think that Wellesley and the world could be a better place, if everyone in the world new what racial diversity was, and everyone stood up for the right side of it. If more people understood, if more people knew, and if more people cared, then Wellesley could be a better place. Black lives matter, just like other lives do, what makes them so different. Nothing, so why do some people treat them different? We don’t know and we might never, so from now on when you see someone who is a different culture, treat them the way you would treat someone of your culture.

Cotter Healey, Bates School

“Line up for recess,” announced our teacher. We all ran to get in line because it was a bright and sunny June day. “Walk quietly down the hall because other classes are working,” said the teacher. We walked down the hall, but then ran down the stairs and out the door. Kids went in every direction. I walked over to the monkey bars and ziplines to play. It felt like a normal afternoon and
everyone looked like they were having fun.

When I got to the other side of the monkey bars, I looked over at the basketball court and saw that they were forming a line to play knockout, some kids were playing tag, and some kids were playing wall ball. I guess it was a normal 5th grade recess after all. I saw my friend Jake coming in my direction. “Wanna play wall ball?” he asked. I said, “I’m good.” “Okay,” he said, and walked back to join the other kids for wall ball.

I went back to the other side of the monkey bars, and tried to jump from one to the other by skipping one bar. I hit the bar and hurt my hands from the impact, and fell down the the ground, and went back to the ladder ad looked across the blacktop again and noticed other things. Some kids were in stump world, and some got a four square ball and started playing. “Should I do
something else?” I thought, but instead I went over to the round monkey bars to play there. Before I got on I looked around and saw that everything changed again. A lot of kids playing wall ball were out, the four square line was doubled, and the knockout line was shrinking slowly.

Right before I swung on the bars, my friend Josh came over. “Do you want to play tag?” he asked. “No,” I said. I went on to going across the bars. After a bit my friend Jake came over. “Can I play with you?” he asked. Instead of going on the monkey bars, we went over to the ziplines to play. We played who could stay on the longes. It’s when you push someone and see how long they could stay on for. It was close but Jake won in round five. After we did that I looked over at the court again and saw a kid who was looking super nervous to play. He was fourth in line and it was almost his turn. Then all the kids before him made it in on the
first shot they took. Now the kid was looking even more nervous than he was the first time. In seconds it was the kids turn to shoot and he missed the first time and the person behind him made it right away. Now the kid had to make it in before the next person in line. The next kid up missed but got the rebound for an easy shot in. The other kid had just gotten back to the court.

Then something happened that I never thought would happen. All the kids started laughing at him and calling him names. And then the kid started to cry and the kids laughed even harder. “Do something or do nothing. Do something or do nothing,” was the only thing that went through my mind when I saw what happened. It took me awhile but I decided to do something …

I walked over to the basketball court trying to act normal. When I got close I looked right at everybody and tried not to lose eye contact. When I got up to them I started talking. “Hey do you realize you’re making him cry?” I asked. “Yeah of course John is the worst at basketball. I don’t even know why he plays,” said a kid who was in the group. “Hey don’t be mean. Let John do what he wants. Plus what did he even do to you?” All the kids were silent like they didn’t know what to say next. “What was mean is I don’t know why someone would do that,” I said. “Hey John, do you want to play basketball on the other hoop to get away from those kids?” “Yes,”he said, still crying.

“How about next recess,” I said, “The bell is about to ring.”

“That sounds good,” said John.

I went in side that day thinking about what I learned. In situations there are always two choices, to do something, or to do nothing, and they are both very powerful decisions.

Alexander Hirschey, Hunnewell School

“Stand up for what is right even if you’re standing alone.” -Suzy Kassem

I remember a time that was important, not just to me, to many people, people in need. It was a vacation, and I’ll remember it always. My siblings and I were going to build a house, for a family in need. But it wasn’t just us, there were other families who helped build and were willing to help the needing family. I wasn’t very into building objects with wood, but once I saw what they lived in, I was willing to help.

There were 3 kids, An 11 year-old boy, 5 year-old girl, and a 2 year-old boy. They spoke Spanish, I couldn’t understand them. But I still made friends. The oldest boy was fun and full of ideas if we got bored during a break. I made a wooden toy for the oldest boy which he enjoyed and was very thankful for. The project took two days, and on the second we were almost done. On the second day we took the family on a shopping trip. Our parents had collected enough money for the shopping. When we came back, they had plenty of food and a house. When we were going to leave we regrouped and shared memories of the trip. The family went last, talking with tears of joy rolling down their cheeks. The 11 year-old boy cried as his father talked. He believed he had done his job. In Mexican culture, a son’s job is to protect his mother.

When we left, we left with a bittersweet feeling hanging in the air. Happy for the family, but sad for leaving. We went again this April vacation, with 47 other people. I was excited, for meeting new friends, learning some Spanish, but most of all, helping the ones in need. While we were helping them they were also helping us. When we went to Mexico to build the house, we also learned some stories about helping. My favorite one went like this: One night thousands of starfish washed ashore. A little boy saw this and started throwing the starfish back in the ocean. A man walked up to the boy and asked, “Why are you doing this? You’ll never throw them all back in”  The boy replied as he threw another starfish, “I know, but I’m still making a difference for this
one.”

Noor Kashif, Sprague School

Have you ever thought while you were eating cereal, in the car, or when you’re about to go to sleep, for one second to think who is Malala. Well I bet many people haven’t. I bet you’re thinking, “What’s so special about Malala?. Well, Malala has done a lot. Malala Yousafzai is a girl who stood up for women’s rights and education. Without Malala, some girls wouldn’t be able to go to school. People wouldn’t speak up for themselves.

Malala was born on July 12, 1997. She was born in Mingora, PaRistan, in the country’s swat valley. Malala has a younger brother named Khushal, a dad named Ziauddin, and a mother named Toor PeRai. Today Malala is 21 years old. Malala’s dad ran an all girls school, called Edgbaston. This was the school Malala went to. Malala looked up to her father. In 2008, the Taliban closed many places and made many rules that everyone had to follow, and to the people who didn’t, they would arrest them. Malala found this outrageous. At the end of 2008, girls had no longer had the right to go to school, as of January 15, 2009. When Malala was eleven years old, her dad let her speak against the Taliban. Malala said, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?”

Malala fought for girls’ education and women’s rights. July 12 is known as Malala day. On Malala’s 16th birthday, July 12th, 2013, she made a speech about how all genders should be able to go to school all around the world. Malala made this speech at the United Nations headquarters. People have declared this day as Malala day. Malala says that July 12 is not Malala day, July 12 is everybody’s day. On October 10, 2014, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle against the defeat of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

Malala affected my thinking a lot. Without Malala, I wouldn’t speak for myself. Without Malala, some girls wouldn’t be able to go to school. Without Malala, this world wouldn’t be the same. Some ways we could make a change in this world is to speak up. Speaking up can do a lot. It can change other people’s perspectives and make other people want to do something. As Malala said, “We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.”

Another thing we could do is teach others with examples. You can do things that help and prevent racial or gender restrictions and hope that other people will follow along. We can also Involve ourselves in activities that put us in an environment where you are bared to people of racial and different backgrounds. Something we can do is just be a good citizen. You don’t have to always do something HUGE. Vote in every election. Don’t support politicians who are racially isolating or manipulate people’s fears.

What has Malala Yousafzai done? I hope that the whole world won’t have to think who is Malala, because I hope they already know. Malala Yousafzai is probably one of the most inspiring people you could ever think of. Malala can inspire you to achieve your dreams and goals. Malala can teach us so many things. Everything she’s done is just making us want to do more. We can do more. After I see what Malala has done for this world, something you can think is, what can I do for this world.

Natalie Medina, Bates

Rap.
Rap.

The noise of papers being slapped down on desks surrounds me. Look away, not wanting to face what I know will happen in seconds.

Clap.
Clap.

I know that sound. Ms. Keysers high heels walking down towards me. I nervously nibble on my shoulder length dark brown hair-
but quickly stop, not wanting to look anxious. The noise stops. I still refuse to face her. I think she knows I’m ignoring her, because I hear a sigh.

Rap.

In my peripheral vision, I see a white paper sitting there, very out of place with my dark brown wooden desk. “Hope, look at
your paper.”  I bite my lip. No way. “Hope. I’m talking to you.” I roll my eyes. Like l care. Ms. Keyser sighs, and walks away.

Clap.
Clap.
Rap.
Clap.
Clap.
Rap.

When all the papers are passed out, Ms. Keyser starts to walk to the front of the classroom, but stops at my desk. I don’t look
at her, but I hear a disappointed sigh. “Hope, it’s important for you to see your grade, so you can improve.” Ms. Keyser’s voice
sounds like uncooked spaghetti talking. Stiff and strict. Ms. Keyser puts her hand on my shoulder. I shake it off, and turn to face her; giving her a hard glare – which is extra effective thanks to my strange emerald green eyes. I guess they’re not a curse after all. Ms. Keyser sighs, and tucks a strand of her short wavy hair behind her ear. “Hope, if you read your grade, we can work on you making up for it.” Ms. Keyser offers. I consider it -l remember past grades. C, C-. No extra credit will help me now. But…I guess it’s better than nothing. I nod my head, still with a sour look on my face. I mean, the grade can’t be too bad right? What’s worse than C-?

Satisfied, Ms.Keyser walks to the front of the classroom. I mentally prepare myself, and finally look at the dreaded right corner on my paper.

SIXTH GRADE ESSAY#3 F.
Hope Scarla.

32%

Silence. I don’t hear a thing, I only hear the fast beating of my heart.

I blink.
Once.
Twice.

It doesn’t go away. It’s like the paper is the only thing that exists. I don’t know how long, but I stare at it for awhile. Then the
trance is broken and panic settles in. My breathing grows rapid, my lungs never seeming to have enough air. How? How did this happen? I mean, I never study but I’ve never gotten less than C-!

Suddenly, as if a switch was hit, my panic morphed into anger. I can hear everyone whispering about their grades loudly, as if
they’re taunting me.

“What did you get?”
“What about you?”
“You’re so smart!”
“If anything, you’re the smart one.”
“Wow, thank you!”

I grit my teeth. Everyone’s so happy, with their A’s andB’s. Have they ever stopped to think about others grades? I can’t take it anymore. I stand up fuming, and storm towards the door. Heads turn, with startled looks on their faces. “Hope Scarla!” Ms. Keyser yells. I don’t care. I just run. The girls bathroom, floor3. My ELA class is on the first floor, and I’m not making the
same mistake twice of going to the closest bathroom. I push the heavy door open with my shaking hands. The door whooshes
as it closes, creating a soft breeze. I exhale, knowing I can’t be brought back to class now. Unless Ms.Keyser decides to burst into the bathroom – but l highly doubt that. I let my shaking body collapse to the bathroom floor. Unsanitary?

Yes.
Do l care?
No.

I sit and stare at the wall.
You know what’s funny? My name is literally Hope, but l have zero hope right now. No hope in my grades, no hope that they’ll ever get better. What were my parents thinking when they called me Hope? I shake my head. I’m not thinking about that. Instead I glance at the clock. 2:45. That’s perfect. I can just wait here until dismissal. It’s only fifteen minutes until then anyway.

Until then…I look around for something to do.All I see is soap, water, sinks, stalls… An idea pops into my head. I walk over to the
sink, and put about two quarters size of soap into my left hand. Then, I make the mistake of looking in the mirror. I spot the reflection in the shiny mirror, and see a stupid girl, who’s grades can’t ever surface C. I stand there, feeling nothing but self pity. Why do I never get good grades? Why?

I feel the liquid soap pouring through my fingers, snapping me back to reality. I blow a strand of hair away from my eyes, and turn on the water. I turn my hands, and millions of bubbles form, dancing on my fingers. I laugh softly, and blow the bubbles. They soar through the air, freeing themselves. I blow more and more away, watching each one soar freely. And for a second, I too feel free.

That is, until the bell rings. The bubbles pop, as though they can’t handle being in an unhappy environment. I grumble,
and head out the door. I make a pit stop at my locker, careful not to be spotted, and then run for the door. As soon as I leave the building, I put on my helmet, jump onto my bike, and pedal away. The fresh breeze makes me feel free, free from school. I let the wind blow my hair, and pedal as fast as I can. Bye bye school. But, eventually I arrive home.

I pull into the driveway, put my bike away, and take out my key. Because I normally get home before my parents, apparently I’m “responsible enough to get my own key.” I shove it in the lock, twist it around, and open the door. As soon as I come in, I smell the distinct smell of coffee. I hesitate for a second. Why is mom or dad home already? I really doubt that they left coffee out and left. I look around, and see mom, her back turned to me, on the phone.

“Yes. Yes I see. I’ll let you know if…” Her voice trails off as she looks at me. She glares, at me, and says into the phone, “She’s
just arrived back. I’m sorry she wasted your time.” She ends the call and walks over to me, with a look on her face that says, “Oh you’re in big trouble.”

“Hope Scarla! Just what were you thinking, Running off like that?” Mom folds her arms, waiting for a response. I fold my arms back, and turn away. Mom, sighs. “Hope, you can’t just run away whenever-you want.Your teachers were very worried.”

I roll my eyes. Yeah right.

“I want you to write an apology note to Ms. Keyser,” she says.

“Are you kidding me? I am not writing an apology note to -” mom cuts me off.

“Yes. You are.” She completes the punishment with a glare with her dark brown eyes.”

“Fine.”

I grit my teeth, to keep from yelling, and turn towards the stairs.

“That’s not all, young lady,” says mom grabbing my shoulder. “Tonight you will read for two hours as punishment.”

“But mom!”

“No buts. Read.”

“I don’t have a book to read.” I retort, folding my arms. But mom smiles.

“Well, you can read all the built up newspapers.” She gestures towards a pile of flat newspapers piled up behind me. I bite my lip, wondering if it’s still worth fighting. After a few seconds, I decide it’s not. I sigh longly, trying to postpone reading. But, I run out of breath eventually. “Fine,”I mumble, picking up the stack of newspapers.

“Don’t you even think of not reading. I’ll be checking on you every now and then,” warns mom. I roll my eyes. “Sounds peachy.”

In my room, I sit down on my beanbag and hear the little crunching noises of the styrofoam beads. I cringe. I hate that noise, So I sit on the floor instead. I get out a piece of paper, and write a sloppy letter.

i am sorry

I decide that’s good enough, and reach for the first newspaper, and stare at it blankly. I sigh, wondering if l could just pretend to read. But that would be way too boring. Eventually, I start reading. First I just find some boring articles with. headings like: Last Year’s Historic Victory, and other political stuff.

Ever-y now and then, I look at the clock, and realize that it has only beens minutes since I last checked the time. I then proceed
to sigh loudly, stare at the wall for a minute or two, then continue reading. Five minutes later, the cycle repeats. I’m on newspaper
number two, second paragraph, when I see an article called: “Young girl takes a stand.” It seems interesting enough so I take a
closer look. The article is actually not as boring as the others. The article talks about this girl named Malala, who lives in
a place where girls can’t go to school.Wow, that lucky duck. I mean, not having to go to school? That sounds amazing! I read
on, very interested in what this is all about. I then find a letter, that looks kind of like a diary entry. I look closer to see what it’s
about.

I push the paper away from myself in shock when I read it. It’s about Malala actually wanting to go to school. How can someone
want to go to school? I mean, I’ve seen some kids at school who don’t seem to hate school, but they definitely if given the
chance would not go to school. It just doesn’t make sense to me.But I think what shocks me the most is her writing. It’s amazing! I can actually feel like she’s talking to me, describing every detail about not being able to go to school, her dad bringing her books, but other girls not being as lucky. I can’t help but wish I could write like that… the way her words project an image in my head…
it’s like magic.

I read on eagerly. I read about her wanting to go to school so badly, her wanting to be a doctor, her fighting for the right to education…it shocks me. I read on. Apparently, she made this speech called: “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” Her speech is kind of… Inspirational. How can she be so brave? Isn’t protesting putting herself in danger? I don’t like not knowing things, so I read on.And eventually I have answers to my questions. It all clicks like a puzzle. Malala believes that everyone has the right for education. She will fight for education, because if everyone was scared, nothing will change. I turn away from the newspaper. It feels like something stabbed me in the stomach.This feeling of regret. Girls in Pakistan, and Malala are fighting for the right to education…while I just wish school never existed. I bite m-y lip and continue reading, hoping for distraction.

I don’t realize how into this article I am until l hear a little giggle. I snap my head up, to see mom, in the doorway, smiling ear to ear. How did I not hear her open the door?

“I see you’re very into the news,” Mom says, looking me down and up, still smiling.

“Oh shush,” I murmur, and continue reading. Mom laughs, and for some weird reason, I do too. It starts of as a giggle then it turns into a snort, then a laugh. Maybe because I am actually reading for the first time and actually learning something. Maybe. Just maybe.

“Well, I’ll leave you to enjoy your reading,”Mom smiles. I nod, returning the smile. She turns to walk away, but l want to ask something.

“Uhm… there’s something I want to try …can I use-your computer?” I ask. Mom thinks for a moment, then nodded her
head. “Yeah, I’m not using it. Go ahead.You’ve been reading for a while now anyway.”

I thank her, and grab her computer. Back in my room, I look up writing prompts. I settle on a fiction story. I grab a pencil and paper and start writing. The next day, I try to pay attention at class.Maybe it’s because of the article I read. Maybe. In science l actually try to pay attention to a worksheet I had to complete. It was kinda satisfying to see my teachers surprised faces as I finished first. During the last hour of the day as I walk in, I swear Ms. Kyser is keeping a close eye on me, but I just ignore her. But, she’s not the only one I have to ignore. Everyone is whispering around me. Oh my gosh, its her.

Who?

That weird girl that ran out of class yesterday.

Oh my gosh, that was her?

I decide to let myself glare. Just a bit. They look away so fast, it’s like they think I’m Medusa or something. I sit down as if
everything is normal. Ms. Keyser clears her throat to get everyone quiet. “As some of you know, now that you are in middle school, you are obligated to submit a piece of writing to the I.Y.W contest.” She pauses. “I.Y.W stands for Inspired Young Writers. The goal of the contest is to get young writers, such as yourselves, to write as much as possible, and possibly continue as you get older.”Ms. Keyser smiles. “And of course, a select few will be selected by me and the other ELA teachers to continue to the next round. Selected children will each get their piece of writing shown to the class, and then we will all vote on our favorite.”

Ms. Keysers spots a raised hand. “Yes?”

“What do we get if we win?” asked a kid in a bored voice. Ms. Keyser raises her eyebrows, as if to say, “Really?” She sighs, and says, “You get to feel accomplished that you won.” There were slight murmurs of “lame” and “aw” and “I’m not gonna even try then”

Meanwhile, I’m already debating what I’m going to write about. I don’t care that there’s no prize, I just wanna write! What shouldI even write? A fiction?A nonfiction? Or… my eyes widen when I land on my idea. A-persuasive essay about Malala!Perfect. It would also be a non-suspicious reason to research Malala more. I eagerly listen to the rest of the instructions about the contest, which basically sums up to:

• Take your time.
• Youhave only two weeks, so don’t really take your time
• Make it good.
• You have no limits

Sweet! I reach out for my-pencil to start writing down ideas, but catch myself. I realize how into this I am. What do I care? It’s just a stupid school project… a school project that other children wish they had. I grab the pencil and write down some notes. Soon, we have to switch to analyzing poems. It try to pay attention, and it’s not that bad l guess. That is, until Ms. Keyser asks me to meet her in the hallway. I sigh, then respond, “Okay.”

Out in the hallway, it’s dead silent. Ms. Keser looks at me, opens her mouth to say something, closes it, sighs, and eventually says, “Okay, I’m gonna skip the lecture, as I’m sure you already received one from your parents,” she says. Wow, okay, this is new. “I will say, is this is-your chance to earn that extra credit l was talking to you about.”

Ohhhhhhhh. I was wondering what that was gonna be.

“If you can make it to the first round, I’m willing to up your grade to aC+. Okay?” I nod cautiously. Then I remember the apology note l wrote. Mom’s probably gonna call her to make sure she received it. I sigh, pull it out of my jean pockets and hand it over to a surprised Ms. Keyser. She takes the paper, smiles a bit, and folds it back up. “Apology accepted. Now you have some poems to analyze,” she reminds me. I smile sarcastically, and say, “Sounds like fun!” It actually does, but not that I’m telling that to Ms. Keyser. Ms. Keyser sighs, and walks back into the classroom. I follow a few seconds later. Now  I know that l really need to do good at this I.Y.W thing.

Finally, the school day is over. I ask mom if l can use her computer for a school project, and she says yes! I lie down on my
floor with mom’s laptop. I go to the school’s database, and look up “Malala.” At first, I find some kid’s article about it, with
simplified facts. But finally, I find a good, fact-packed article. I start reading, but realize that I need to take notes. I sigh, but
get a pencil and-paper to take notes. By the time mom calls me down to dinner, I have my whole paper, including the
backside covered in notes. Mom says that she is surprised by how much l got done, which l respond with, “Gee, thanks,” hiding my smile.

The next few days are a blur.Wake up, school, trying to pay attention, go home, research, dinner, sleep, and it all repeats
the next day. Finally, I have what l think is enough info. Five-pages of facts, opinions, a timeline, family members, etc. I even copy down her most popular speeches, which took forever! But, I need the extra credit, and this is sorta kinda fun, so… Finally, I start my essay. I go through a mental checklist in my mind.

Paper? Check.
Pencil? Check.
Notes? Check.

Hopefully that’s everything. I press my bright yellow pencil on my white paper hesitantly. A minute passes before my shoulders
sag as I realize how I have no idea how to start. I can’t just say, “Hi! My name is Hope! I have no idea howt o start this, so I’m doing this.” And l don’t want to sound all “profesional” by saying, “This article will be about this, that, andt his and blahblahblah…”

Eventually, I settle on, “You probably have heard a thing or two about Malala, but do you know how she started writing? Well, read on to find out more!Yeah, not the best, but it’ll do. I go down a line, and continue writing.

Have you ever seen amovie so good you can’t seem to do anything else but stare at the screen? You’re in a trance, watching the movie, and forgetting everything else?Yeah, that’s how I feel when I’m writing. Nothing else exists, just me and pencil and paper.
The words are flowing out of me, and my pencil can barely keep up. Before I know it, I’m finished. Not just the draft, I’m finished going back, making changes, fixing spelling, and just making my essay better; in general. I can’t believe how quick I finished! It’s been… I glance at the clock. ONE HOUR? I’m pretty sure my eyes grow as big as baseballs. How did Ifinish so quickl! Most of my essays, take at least 10hours. And even then it’s barely finished. But this time it was fun…A smile spreads across my face, as I realize that writing may not be that bad.

I spent the rest of the week reading other books because I finished so fast. I borrowed some books from the school library, which were not as bad as I thought. Finally, the day of the “selected few” announcement is here. As I walk in, my knees are shaking. I manage to keep them under control, but it’s like they’re trying to escape a prison. Finally, I make it to my seat. Ms. Keyser stands in the front of the classroom, smiling.

“I’d like to start off by saying that all your pieces of writing were very good, and if I could, I would say you all won,” she begins. She talks like she’s about to say, but… And she does. “But I can’t. So without further ado, I will pass out your grades. Students with 100%will be voted on.”

Flap.
Flap.

Again, I hear the noise of papers being slapped down on our desks.
This time, I don’t look away.
This time, I look straight ahead and wait.
This time, I’m not afraid. (Well, my knees say otherwise but… )

Clap.
Clap.

Ms. Keyser walks forward, and catches my eye. She smiles, and gets closer to my desk. I have to admit, I’m getting a tad bit nervous. But the good part of nervous. She places my paper down, and l look at it, crossing my fingers.

I.Y.W
HopeScarla
I drop my paper.
Me.
Hope Scarla.
Actually got.
100%

“Hope?” I see Ms. Keyser leaning over my desk. She’s smiling, holding my bright paper.

“Oh. Uhm, thanks,” I murmur, taking my paper. On the outside, I am sitting still; calmly waiting for class to continue. On the inside on the other hand, I’mscreaming, running in circles, throwing confetti in the air. Finally, everyone has their papers. Ms. Keyser smiles at the front of the classroom. “Now, all five students that got 100% will read their writing. Hope, you first.” She gestures towards me. Every head in the class turns to see me, their mouths wide

One person mouths,her? I get up, grab mypaper, and walk to the front of the classroom calmly, enjoying everyone’s shocked faces. I begin my essay.

“You probably have heard a thing or two about Malala, but do you know how she started writing?Well, read on to find out more!”
I cringe a bit, but continue. “Malala Yousafzai, is a Pakistan girl who wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Unfortunately, she is unable to go to school because in her country girls are not allowed to go to school. Her father helped her tremendously by always supporting her, and giving her books. Sadly, some girls weren’t as lucky. Malala took none of this, and started writing
for a blog about what it’s like to not be able to go to school.” I continue reading, until I finish my last part. “Malala Yousafzai will one day do great things. She has already inspired countless people.”

I look up from my paper to see every eye on me and Ms. Keyser is smiling ear to ear. I stand there, proud.  Imay not make it through the voting, but l made it this far. I got 100%. I think that’s good enough for me.

Epilogue
I was right. Malala did amazing things. She influenced change, and brought many girls back to school. Most importantly
she inspired people to keep going, to never stop. I am one of those people she inspired.

Maxwell Morrow, Upham School

I Wish

I wish that i could go back to that day I
wish i did something

I wish that i didn’t just stand there and walk the other way I
should have been an ally not a bystander
I wish that i stood up that day
Instead I walked away
But now I have something to say
I wish that I could go back to that day
Now it has changed me and I am going to make a change
Because it feels bad to be a bystander
So am going to stand up as much as i can
And not be a bystander!

Jeffrey Peng, Hardy School

Have you ever been new to somewhere? I definitely have. Isn’t our first instinct to make a friend? I moved to different elementary schools. It wasn’t easy orienting myself to each school or making new friends. Every place I went to, I had to reach out for friends, I wish that someone had come lend a hand to start a friendship with me.

It was my first year at Hardy when I was in 4th grade. In my class there was another newcomer as well. His family had just moved here from China a month ago. He didn’t know a lot of English so I offered to help him translate (from English to Chinese and then back to English) and he agreed. I would often help him translate questions that the teacher was asking. Sometimes I would take him to the school library and find an easy book for him. I would translate each word for him. With my help he excelled in English. He learned English quickly and by the end of the year, he could read picture books easily. Both the boy and his mom were grateful of me.

This has been a very positive experience for me. It taught me to stand in others shoes when they are in need of help. So I call on the citizens of Wellesley to help all newcomers to the community even if it’s just a simple “hi” or a wave just let them know that they’re welcome here in Wellesley. These simple things can make a big change. They will all make Wellesley Massachusetts a better place for all. I think that we the people of Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA have the right to advocate for people to be welcoming not just in schools but in the whole community. You will know that you’ve seen the smile of a true friend. So all in I hope everyone can learn from this essay!

Sloane O’Reilly, Fiske School

The book, I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch taught me that there is a lot more to the world than what is immediately around you. This is a book about a girl named Caitlin who lives in America and becomes friends with Martin, who lives in Africa, when they become pen pals. They learn about each other’s cultures and differences. They learn about what it is like to live on the opposite sides of the earth. Caitlin learns to appreciate living in America where she gets more opportunities in life. In the end, Martin and Caitlin’s relationship grows because of their differences and respect for each other and become best friends. Finally they meet each other at the end of the story.

This story shows the benefits of diversity and recognition of others cultures because Caitlin got to know someone who wasn’t like her. She realized how fortunate she was in America, then she helped Martin, and finally not only did Martin appreciate Caitlin’s culture, Caitlin appreciated Martin’s culture. Caitlin got an assignment at school to become pen pals with someone. Caitlin
randomly chooses the country Zimbabwe because she thought that it sounded different and unique. She knew nothing about Zimbabwe such as where it was located or what language they spoke. Her first letter to Martin was about her life in America and about herself. When Martin wrote back, his letter was about life in Africa and questions about America. It doesn’t take long for Caitlin to realize their lives are very different.

Martin and Caitlin lived in opposite worlds. Caitlin lived in the suburbs with houses more spread out and Martin lives in an area that houses were squished together. Also Martin’s lifestyle was different than Caitlin’s. Martin shared almost everything with his family. For example when Caitlin gave him a new t-shirt he shared it with his whole family. One day his mom would wear it, the next day his dad would wear it. In his house nobody had their own clothes. Caitlin had to never share anything like clothes with her family. Everyone had enough clothing that they did not need to share. As you can see, Caitlin’s lifestyle was very different than Martin’s.

Despite their differences, Martin and Caitlin were very interested in each other’s cultures. Martin and Caitlin lived very far away from each other so they didn’t have the same kind of languages spoken, clothing worn and daily life. Since everything in their lives was so foreign to each other, they were interested in what each other’s money looked like. First Caitlin sent Martin a dollar. He was very surprised what it looked like. It was made of thick paper. Then Martin sent his money. She was surprised that it was a very small amount compared to the American money. After Martin saw the money, he traded in for his money and was able to buy a chicken that he had not had since Christmas. This shows how much money one dollar can do to change a life.

Martin was quite poor compared to Caitlin. He appreciated more things like family and friends. Martin was closer with his family and friends than Caitlin. Martin played with his neighborhood more than Caitlin. Martin also appreciated family more. He cared about his family a little more. He would always think about how his mom was doing at school. As you can see Martin and Caitlin got to know someone that was different than themselves.

After Caitlin got to know Martin better, Caitlin realized how fortunate she was in America. One of the things that made Caitlin appreciate her life is that she didn’t have to pay for schools. On the other hand, Martin did. Martin had to pay for schools even though Martin was less fortunate than Caitlin. One of the problems Martin mentioned in his letter was that he struggled to find food and water. He barely got some of the foods that Caitlin got on a daily basis. For example, Martin never got ice cream, chicken or soda. Some things Martin dreamed about, Caitlin never even thought about. For example, Caitlin always had clean water and has never had to drink dirty water. Another thing Martin mentioned in his letter was that he did not have enough food or water. Also Martin lived in a house cramped with his family in one room. On the other hand, Caitlin had a very nice house and had her own room.

Overall, Caitlin started to not think about the things that she did not have and started to appreciate the things that she did have.
She thought things to herself like, “Are people really living this way? Is this really what Martin is dealing with?” This made Caitlin think. What can she do to help Martin? She didn’t know but she knew she had to help.

It started with Caitlin just sending her weekly allowance money to Martin, without her mom or dad’s approval. Then she started to give him one hundred dollar bills. Caitlin was so desperate for Martin to have a happier life, she did not care about that she was working for him or that she didn’t get to keep her weekly allowance herself. She needed Martin’s life to get better.

Sending Martin money became Caitlin’s routine. A couple months later Caitlin’s parents found out. They were not that happy about it. They wished she told them earlier. They understood Caitlin, but wished she did more than just give money. Caitlin’s mom thought they could do better to help Martin and his family. Caitlin started to send care packages to Martin. They included things like food, bottled water and new clothes for Martin and his family. Martin’s family really appreciated what Caitlin gave to Martin. From Caitlin and her mom’s help Martin and his family started to slowly get better. This soon became a routine. Each month Caitlin and her mom would go shopping and buy necessities for Martin and his family.

Martin and Caitlin also began to appreciate each others cultures. Martin had changed Caitlin as a person. Before Caitlin met Martin, Caitlin was involved in a lot of drama. Her big problems were about fights with her friends. Some of Caitlin’s letters were about her drama problems. Caitlin read some of Martin’s letters about his problems. He talked about how he does not have a lot of food or clean water. This made Caitlin realize that there are a lot worse things that can happen to you. Then after a while Caitlin started to not be involved in the drama and she started to get involved in community service. Caitlin benefitted from appreciating Martin’s approach to life. This book inspired me to look more outside of Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The book made me realize that   there are many different people in the world than just where you live. Mostly everyone in Wellesley is really lucky to live in a home and always have clean food and water. Wellesley Massachusetts would be a better place if people would recognize more people outside of Wellesley and realize how other people in this world live differently than people in Wellesley. People could help others that might need food and clean water and other basic needs. This also inspired me to have different kinds of friends. Before I read this book I had friends that were similar to me but after I reached out and became friends with other people as well. Overall, the world would be a better place if people did something like what Caitlin did because people would have all different diverse friends and people would appreciate how others live.

Antonia Wied, Upham School

Equal

Men who died to save us all
who knew of what was rig ht
who fought for slavery and for freedom All

throughout the night

In times before when blacks struggled to stay alive while Needing

to finish their work

After the war life was still not right We
misjudged them all greatly

They did n1t have the same rights as whites At
water fountains nor at restaurants

Then few stood up like Rosa Parks who didn't give up her seat She didn’t
move while people screamed “get to the back seats.” She stood

there in protest not moving from her seat

Then Dr. King he gave his speech of his big and famous dream

Where all blacks would hold
hand in hand with little white children All of

which in peace

John F. Kennedy being white himself spoke For

segregation to cease

For all the people young and old who stood there marching For

freedom is the peaceful march
Most say today that people different
Are all treated equally
But think
Is that really true?

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