Meeting Melo

Last week between sampling chocolate donuts at the library coffee shop, our budding writers diligently sweated over three drafts of articles describing life-changing moments. They worked to incorporate the five senses and the concept of “show, don’t tell” especially regarding emotions. Animals reigned supreme as this week’s theme of choice. Paige, an incoming 6th grader, penned “Meeting Melo”:

My family and I were driving back from our vacation in Missouri. On our way back we were going to pick up a five-month-old puppy named Glacier. Unfortunately we didn’t like his name, so we tried to come up with a better name–Savannah, Gizmo, Marshmallow and Snowball were options. But we wanted a name from his Cuban heritage, so we narrowed it down to Savannah, Gizmo and Melo (short for “milagro” which means “miracle” in Spanish). We still couldn’t agree.

We pulled into the driveway of a ranch style house with three dog cages lining the small fence around the house. Each cage was big enough to hold two horses but instead held at least 20 dogs each.

I jumped out of the car and skipped past my family. I started hopping up and down on the gravel like a toddler with a sugar rush. A middle-aged woman waved and grinned at us.

As the rest of my family approached her, I started sneezing like I was allergic to everything there. Than I realized that I was–hay, grass, mold, dust and unfortunately dogs. Luckily Glacier was hypoallergenic.

As the woman talked with my parents about caretaking, my brother Trey and I went exploring. We glanced at all the dogs in the large crates and let them lick us, although they slobbered all over us.

A lush, green forest seemed to consume the house, shading the area. There wasn’t much of a breeze. A layer of autumn leaves covered much of the gravel.

As I was about to climb into the greenery, my mom called me to the garage. I was just in time to see the woman glide out the front door with a little white bundle in her arms. This was Glacier.

I wanted to shoot out like a bullet and snatch him up, but the hush that fell over everything stopped me. My mom and dad each took a turn to hold him.

When it was my turn to cuddle him, I gazed into curious black eyes and knew he was Paige and Melo relaxingperfect for us. He was so soft, like a newborn lamb. I let his sandpaper tongue brush against my cheek. As I stared lovingly into his eyes, I sneezed right in his face. He closed his little black eyes tightly and started licking my face furiously, almost as if he were sorry for me. But I was sorry for him. I pitied him for a second reason–he stank badly, like fresh manure. Even so, I loved him like nothing else.

I gently passed him to my brother, not wanting to let go. But as the soft folds of his fur left Paige and Melo formal shotmy fingertips, I whispered in a hoarse voice, “He looks like a Melo.” All of a sudden the bugs, dogs and even the wind spoke up, whistling through the trees. My family spoke too and they agreed.

“That sounds perfect,” my mom said. I nodded, “Just like him!”

Paige, 11, is going into 6th grade. She loves her puppy, Melo, and enjoys playing volleyball. Paige hopes to be a journalist when she grows up.


If I were one inch tall

Our second crop of budding writers is brimming with creativity! This week we have three talented girls in a workshop we created upon request. Custom workshops are tailored to fit schedules and to enable friends to write and flourish together.
Juliette M. allowed us to share her journal entry, “One Inch Tall.” She initiated writing it in a poetic form.

If I were one inch tall, I could spend the day in my fairy garden, frolicking about the pansies and playing with the flowers.Juliette M one inch tall illustration

If I were one inch tall, I could fall asleep on my pet cat, sleeping to the sound of his soothing purring.

If I were one inch tall, I could dive into the sink, my own private pool, and listen to the sound of rushing water as I hit the surface of the still pool.

If I were one inch tall, I would dash about the house avoiding the giant feet that could smash me flat.

If I were one inch tall, a bar of chocolate would last for days.

If I were one inch tall, I wouldn’t drawl and drawl and drawl on about what I’d do if I wereJuliette M cropped headshot one inch tall.

Juliette M. will be a sixth grader this fall. She dreams of writing philosophical and fantasy books someday.


The Day I saved 1,000,000 Lives

We assigned our students a personal experience article describing a day in which their lives were somehow changed. This one’s by Addison, who shares her compassionate heart.

Have you ever been to a country with malnourished kids? Many of the countries of Africa have malnourished kids. Most of Africa is desert so they don’t have plants or animals, which means they don’t get food.

That’s where Feed My Starving Children comes in. It’s where you make meals for the hungry. I come every year. Feed my starving children logo

The room is like a big kitchen with an additional warehouse. The warehouse smelled like cardboard and the kitchen smelled like soy and rice. The soy smelled like powder and the rice smelled nutty. The kitchen is very loud and it does not help when the music volume is very high!

When I got on a team, we gave each other jobs. The jobs are: bagger, boxer, weigher, counter, sealer and pourer. The pourer in your team pours soy, rice, vegetables and vitamins in the bags.

Each team is given a country to work for. Our team suddenly chears, “Ghana, Ghana, Ghana,” excitedly. AddisonIt makes me feel great.

My favorite part is either seeing how many boxes you have packed or tasting what you have made. It takes like baby food and the consistency is like watery oatmeal. The day can be stressful, but at the end it feels great.

Addison is a fourth grade student at Wheaton Montessori. She loves her teachers. Her favorite hobbies are gymnastics, especially tumbling, and art.