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Starr King Elementary School Writes with 826 Valencia Mission Bay

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One of 826 Valencia Mission Bay’s first year goals was to work with third-grade classrooms at schools in Bayview and Potrero Hill, providing weekly writing support. Since last August, 826 staff and volunteers have worked with Herman Shepard, Starr King Elementary School teacher, to design whimsical and weird, Common Core-aligned writing lessons. From personal narratives on conflict to informational essays about what it means to be a good friend, students have used written expression to create beautiful and whimsical pieces on life, family, and childhood. 

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I Hear Birds 
By Aliyah Lewis, Armani Mohamed, Byron Cortez,
Shatia Pease-Finklea

All around me, I hear birds

The world smells like candy

Around me, I see clouds and the sky blue 

I feel thankful because I am happy

Around me, I see people 

And I feel wind because of the clouds

I am a baby

Around me, I hear nature

This picture reminds me of a movie 

What I want to say is, it’s really good 

Not Worth It 
By Laura Quiroga

Dear Reader, 

Let me explain what happened last night. 

Knock knock knock. “Yes?” I peered outside and saw a strange face. 

“Give me your most precious valuables,” I heard.

Suddenly, I saw a cloak and fiery red eyes. I hear a voice say, “And if you don’t, you will pay.” 

My most best valuable is my life. But I’m not about to give away my life. It’s not worth it. I mean, this guy should use his own. 

“Never!” I yelled. 

“I can read your mind. You cannot run,” he said. 

Then, a green hand took a wand. I watched as it fired up. BOOM. I woke up. I was not myself. I was a ghost. 

The Rainforest and the Mountain 
By Taft Wilson, Marcus Blackwell, Kayden Duckett

I am a mountain

All around I hear falling rocks

The world smells like air 

Around me I see water 

And I feel the sun

This picture reminds me of the forest because it is cool

Around me I see sunlight

And I feel grass because I am a mountain

This picture reminds me of being in a rainforest

A Secret Land 
By Paris Raynaldo, Maria Sagapolu, Kaedo Valdes, La Diamond Taylor-Barefield

I am riding a horse

All around me, I hear birds

Around me, I see mountains and water

Around me, I see the sunset

And I feel happy 

Because it’s cool

The picture reminds me of a calm land

And a fairy land

I would want to live on that island 

Lost Teeth 
By Dana Williams

One night at dinner, a wizard came to my door while I was sleeping. His pet dragon was named Gerald. 

They came through my window and took all my teeth. I looked in the mirror and all my teeth were gone. 

The wizard waved his wand and my two front teeth grew back. 

A Cold, Dark Night 
By A’Nijha Smith-Evans

Once, on a cold dark night, a witch arrived at my door with her magic wand and said, “Let me in before I turn you into a lizard.” 

Then I said politely, “Go away before I call the police.” 

The witch just banged on the door. I said, “What do you want?” 

The witch said, “I am looking for my pet bunny.” 

I said, “I haven’t seen a bunny.” 

The witch said, “I am sorry if I did any harm.” 

I said, “No you didn’t.” 

“Thank you,” said the witch. 

And we lived happily ever after. 

All About Jacob
By Jacob Nixon

My name is Jacob. I have one brother named Malachi who is in fourth grade at Starr King. I have three dogs named Daisy, Michael, and Peter. I think you will enjoy learning more about me because I like to read and can tell you about good books to read, like Dog Man

I like to do many things such as play pillow volleyball when I am inside and do free throws in basketball with my cousin and my aunt and my brother when we are outside. I also like to scooter with my brother. I like pepperoni pizza because it is good. My favorite movie is Black Panther because he is cool. 

In conclusion, I am proud of how I am good at dancing and singing. I dream that I can visit Granada. 

How to Make a Great Birthday
By Carl McGehee


1 gallon of Embassy Suites

9 cups of pancake mix

9 cups of fried Oreos

1 gallon of ice cream

1 cup of swimming

2 gallons of movies


First, stir in 1 gallon of Embassy Suites for fun.

Next, spread 9 cups of pancake mix, because it’s good to eat.

Then, layer 9 cups of Oreos, because they are delicious.

After, mix 1 gallon of ice cream, because it’s cold and good. 

Then, grate 1 cup of swimming, because it helps you teach your family to swim.

Last, grate 2 gallons of movies. 

Combine all the ingredients, and you’ll have the best birthday ever!

Favorite Food 
By Lyric White


8 teaspoons of love

7 cups of friends

6 tablespoons of flavor

9 tablespoon of veggies

21 teaspoons of sugar

12 cups of soda


Stir 8 teaspoons of love

Grill 7 cups of friends

Taste 4 gallons of flavor

Simmer 9 tablespoons of veggies 

Fry 21 teaspoons of sugar

Dip 12 cups of soda

About Kingston
By Kingston Morris

I am going to tell you about Kingston. I am from Africa. I have one brother and one sister. I have lots of puppies and two baby bunnies. Another interesting thing about my culture and family is that every Christmas, we go to Las Vegas. I think you will enjoy learning more about me, because I know a lot about sharks. 

I like to play with my bunnies and put them in little jackets when I am inside and hike in the woods when I am outside. Another hobby I have is playing Fortnite. I am good at cooking fish, lobster, and shrimp. My favorite food is ice cream, because it is cold and relaxing. My favorite movie is Count Dracula, because he is the best vampire. 

I am proud of my bunnies. I am also proud of the world because it has a lot of gravity. It gives us our natural food, and it keeps us safe. We have to protect it, and we cannot litter. I dream that I could be a millionaire and help people in need. I would give them money so they can get a job and buy them food and a house so they can get everything they need.  

To the Movies and Park with Friends
By Kaliyah Mozeke

One day, I went to the movies and saw a friend of mine being sad at the movie Aladdin. We left at 2:00. We went to my house and got some sour food snacks, drinks, and then we went to the park. Then we went back home and went to sleep. That day made me feel happy! Because I got to see my friends and then we got cotton candy and cake. 

My Friend A’Nijha
By Marsean Robinson

Did you know that my friend A’Nijha loves music? My friend A’Nijha is from San Francisco. She has one brother. She has a dog and cat. Her dog’s name is Flor and her cat’s name is Catnip. Another interesting thing about A’Nijha’s culture and family is that they eat beans and rice. I think you will enjoy learning more about her because she plays games. Her favorite game is Fortnite.

My friend likes to do many things such as play PS4 when she is inside and play with her scooter when she is outside. Another hobby is to play at the park. A’Nijha’s favorite movie is The Grinch because it is about Christmas time. 

In conclusion, my friend is proud of her math work. Two talents she has are whistling and tap dancing. When she grows up, she wants to visit Las Vegas, because that’s where her great auntie lives. She also wants to be like her mom. She dreams to be the president because she would change unfair laws.

When I Went to A Carnival
By Blake Verdun

Have you ever been to a carnival? One day I went to a carnival with my mom. It was warm like a heater. I was outside. I saw a lot of people! I smelled food like hotdogs. I had a good day because all the rides were so fun. When the carnival was over, we went home. We took two busses. The ride was long. I brushed my teeth, put on some pajamas and went to sleep.

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