As our students and volunteers alike are wrapping up the Fall semester and preparing for the winter break, we’d like to steal a moment to reflect on the eleven publications of student writing 826 Valencia published this season.
Our student journalists writing for the Straight-Up News at Everett Middle School spoke out about police brutality, sweatshop labor, and celebrity Twitter drama, while seniors reporting for Mission Magazine investigated the obstacles and pressures immigrants face. Our in-house newspaper The Valencia Bay-farer saw younger students ages 8–13 tackle current events ranging from the migrant crisis in Europe to the heated battle between Hillary and Trump at home.
Our youngest writers in after-school programs both onsite in our Writing Lab and in our newest Writers’ Room at Buena Vista Horace Mann wrote fantastical stories about superheroes, squirrels, and macaroni without cheese. Also drawing from the imaginations of our younger students, we published our first ever coloring book, collecting illustrations from the previous year of Storytelling and Bookmaking Field Trips.
Finally, our volunteer tutors and programming staff worked with both middle and high school classes around the city to produce memoirs, autobiographical essays, and plays and monologues that delved deep into our students’ everyday experiences navigating city life and the looming futures they are creating for themselves. At once heart-wrenching and heart-warming, it is always an honor to be invited in to hear the personal stories students choose to share.
All 826 publications are available for sale in the Pirate Supply Store, and 100% of proceeds go toward funding our free programming. If you still have holiday shopping to do, please consider sharing the gift of student voices!