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Craig Middle School students show love of language with Literacy Night

Craig Middle School eighth-graders accept their awards for Literacy Night.
Courtesy Photo

The prominent writers of the world all had to start somewhere, and learning the ins and outs of language skills helps promote a lifelong love of the written word.

Craig Middle School honored some of its most promising young scribes during the Jan. 21 Literacy Night, awarding prizes to the top writers in each of the grade levels in the English and language arts department.

The CMS sixth-grade students showed off their best poetry with a focus on creating figurative language, word choice, tone, and purposeful structures.

Craig Middle School sixth-graders accept their awards for Literacy Night.
Courtesy Photo

Karson Fedinec, Anna Moreno, Eli Rains were awarded as the top three poets in their year.

The 7th grade students shared work from Lucy Calkin’s writing unit of realistic fiction, emphasizing vivid imagery, use of symbolism, stirring empathy, and composing a story arc with theme.

Craig Middle School Literacy Night award winners

Sixth-grade winners
1. Karson Fedinec
2. Anna Moreno
3. Eli Rains

Seventh-grade winners
1. Keyara Bohrer
2. Bella Short
3. Yoselin Guevara

Eighth-grade winners
1. Makenzie Velardo
2. Grady Wooden 
3.  Deanna Floetter

Top honors went to Kiki Bohrer, Bella Short, and Yoselin Guevara.

Eighth-graders’ work was focused on writing through the workshop model with poetry, short stories, and nonfiction essays. Makenzie Velardo, Grady Wooden, and Deanna Floetter finished as the top three of the night.

The following are first-place pieces by CMS authors.

Childhood Memories” by Karson Fedinec

You are born in a bed,

You spend your childhood playing. 

Cherish every breath until you are dead. 

The day of Sunday was created for praying

You go to a family dinner,

O, how you hate this

You feel that everyone but you is a winner

Oh no! It’s your annoying cousin Chris.

As you age, gray and old,

You miss those days. 

They are the most precious memories to hold

You see all of the memories in a haze. 

You keep them in your heart

And realize you aren’t that far apart.

“For My Brother” by Makenzie Velardo

I saw you alone, 

Sitting by yourself,

Not a friend in the town.

So I became your first.

You didn’t have a hero,

No one you found to save you. 

So I became your first.

You had no one to look up to. 

So I became your first.

I’ve seen you accomplish and learn so much

I’ve watched you grow 

And I’ve seen you change into an amazing kid

And become my best friend.

You’ve somehow become someone I’d Not be able

To live without

You’re basically my other half

You’re the peanut butter in my sandwich 

Without you I’m just jelly

And no one likes just a jelly sandwich.

You’re an absolute pain

But you’re smart, weird, 

And literally the funniest person I know.

You’ve become my best friend and the person I trust the most. 

I’ve never known anyone to be so kind and caring

There’s a lot of people on this earth 

that don’t know the true value of friendship.

But because of you

Knowing what it is,

Is really simple.

Being the best person in my life is

The best thing a sister could ask for

Thank you for being

my best friend

My other half

My brother 

Dedicated to Anthony Velardo

“Emerald” by Kiki Bohrer

The snow that use to lay like a white sheet on the ground of the earth was finally being soaked up by the rich soil below it. All the birds were singing to the new spring. When suddenly, two young girls: one with blonde natural highlights against dark brown hair, sun kissed skin even though the sun hasn’t touched her since fall and beautiful big emerald eyes and another girl that looked slightly older with dirty blonde hair the same sun kissed skin and brown dark eyes like a chocolate chip, came barreling out of their house with gray sides and a teal door, and a huge tree in the front yard that the leaves were finally growing back on from the harsh and cold winter.  The girls were running around playing tag. What everybody didn’t understand was that they were not only sisters but best friends. They did everything together. They rarely argued. Emerie, the younger sister, ran up to Kiki, the older sister, and said “Tag your it.” Then Emerie rounded the corner to the house. Kiki followed at sprint. But when she turned the corner she was nowhere. Until Kiki looked down. Not moving. Not breathing. There was no sign of life. Kiki panicked. Ran inside to her mom who had long brown hair that reached her ankles and chocolate chip brown eyes like Kiki. 

Kiki’s mom asked, “ What’s the matter?” 

“Emerie she’s laying down outside and isn’t moving!” Kiki said in a panic.

Kiki and her mom rush out the door while Emerie is still lying on the ground. Mom looks into Kikis eyes and says, “Go get my phone fast!” Kiki could see the fear in her eyes. She saw something she’s never seen before. She always thought of her mom as the toughest person she knew so this was a shock. Kiki soared into the house and grabbed her mom’s phone and soared right back out and handed it to her mom. She looked over her mom’s shoulder to see what she was doing and she put the numbers 9-1-1 into the phone’s keypad. She could hear the monotone voice on the other end of the line. Her mom’s voice began to break and she trembled while telling them what happened. Once she hung up, she went to her contacts and called her mother in-law which was Kiki’s and Emerie’s grandma. So many thoughts were rushing through Kikis brain, was Emerie dead? What’s gonna happen next? Within a few moments the ambulance was there, strapping Emerie to a white board and lifting her into the back of a white vehicle. Kiki stood there not being able to form words or move. Petrified that she was gonna lose her only sister and her best friend. Emerie’s mom climbed into the ambulance with Emerie.

Right before they shut the doors to head off Kiki’s mom yelled back at her and said “Grandma will be here in a minute and bring you to the hospital” her voice was raspy and you could hear her trying to keep it together. The ambulance took off and left Kiki standing there waiting for her grandma…

A few moments later, her grandma pulled up in her silver Kia. Kiki jumped in her grandmas car and saw an old women with gray hair that went to her shoulders and wrinkles that creased her face asked “How are you?” Kiki didn’t respond, she looked forward too scared to talk too confused to answer any questions when she had so many of her own. Her grandma nodded in understanding and drove  to the hospital. The entire ride there Kiki looked out the window scared not knowing what was happening…

Once they got to the hospital, Kiki leaped out of the car and barreled towards the emergency entrance. She was impatient for the automatic doors that were opening for what felt like years. When they finally opened, Kiki ran through the hallway that was only 12 feet till the next set of automatic doors. Those ones felt like it took even longer. Tears were drenching her red blotchy face as she approached a young lady in her 30’s with brown, bob cut hair that looked very silky and a badge on the right side of her shirt. The lady asked concerned “ What’s the matter darling?” 

Kiki sniffled and replied,“My sister was taken here by ambulance, and I was just wondering if I could go see her.” Kiki’s eyes were overflowing with tears while she said this.

The lady looked back at the automatic doors behind Kiki and I turned my head to see what she was looking at. Kiki’s grandma that had oxygen in one hand and her cane in the other was staring back at Kiki and the woman behind the desk with the same concerned face the lady sitting behind the desk gave Kiki. Then the woman said to Kiki “Of course let me see where she is,” She left the marble desk and headed to the back. Kiki’s grandma was still in the same position with the same face. It was almost as if she was paused in the same position, but then it finally broke and she walked towards Kiki slowly while her cane hit the ground with every step.

Kiki’s grandma could see the tears running down her face and the worry in her eyes, her grandma wiped the tears off her cheeks with her sleeves and held Kiki’s face with the palm of her hand. No words came they just stared at each other. The young lady came out from the doors she exited out of and looked Kiki dead in the eye and said “Your mom would rather you stay out here until the surgery was over.”

Kiki’s face dropped when she heard this, “What kind of surgery?” she stammered.

The young lady looked back into Kiki’s eyes with sympathy and told her “It’s a complicated surgery called Quadruple bypass which means four arteries are being blocked.” Kiki couldn’t help but break into tears when she heard this, her heart was breaking. Her grandma grabbed her small hand and told the lady “Thank you” and took Kiki to the waiting room. 

After waiting there for what seemed like hours Kiki’s mom walked in. Tears were running down her face, she looked like she was in so much pain. She fell to her knees as soon as the door closed. Kiki went over and hugged her mother in comfort. When her mom could form words into her mouth again she confessed “They tried Kiki they really did,” she said this while staring into Kiki’s eyes that were tearing up, “They spent hours in that surgery to save her but there wasn’t enough time”.

At that moment Kiki’s entire life changed. Kiki’s best friend. Her only sister. The only person that knew her better than she knew herself was gone. What Kiki’s sister doesn’t know now is that she thinks about her everyday. She thinks about how life would be if she was still around. She dreams of a sister that was her best friend again but that’s just a dream, it will never be the same again. The next spring from there on out Kiki would look out the window of her gray house with the teal door and look for the first sight of life this sign of life. This was a hope for Kiki. It was hope that life would keep going on even though it didn’t feel like it would. It was a sign of hope that she would make it through when it felt like she was fighting a battle of death and life. From that day forward, Kiki lived by a motto “Live today like there’s no tomorrow cherish every moment like there won’t be a next.”


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