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Writing Samples

Writing Samples

Every year, Project Read holds a writing competition for our students. This competition gives them an avenue for both practicing and presenting their writing, and grants the rest of us the privilege of seeing their progress. We sincerely thank our participating tutors and students for their efforts to produce polished and significant pieces of writing.

Click on a year to see a selection of the student submissions.

This year, students have reflected on the challenges and successes they have experienced on their quests for educational, professional, and personal fulfillment. Writing skills are critically important for many of the goals our students are working towards—employment, further education, and full participation as citizens.

Please enjoy this year’s entries. We are both proud of and inspired by our students; they so clearly embody the gumption, passion, and willpower of lifelong learners as well as the confidence that is achieved through burgeoning literacy.

 

First Place

Better Late Than Never

Anonymous

I would like to describe one of my weaknesses and what I am doing to overcome this problem. I have entitled it, “Better Late Than Never,” because I have had this problem all my life and it has only been three years since I discovered I could overcome it.

All my life I have struggled with reading. Growing up I knew I was intelligent and I could do many things as well as other people. I didn’t want this weakness to stop me. I came from a family of fifteen children, me being the fourteenth child, and my mother had four of us in five years. My mother was a hard worker, but she was very tired at the end of the day and so there was no reading to us as children at night. There was no kindergarten the year I started school and so I was put in first grade. It wasn’t until fourth grade that I knew I had a problem with reading. My fourth grade teacher would have me go to the front of the room and read to the class. Because I read so poorly, she would put a dunce cap on my head and send me to the back of the room to the corner facing the wall. I couldn’t help but cry. It was then that I gave up on learning how to read. I could do other things adequately; I just couldn’t read very well. I excelled in art, drama, and PE, and I was nominated to be a cheerleader, but I withdrew my name, because my grades were low. Thought I graduated from high school, I slipped through the cracks of the school system.

After high school I worked in Salt Lake City as a draftsman for many years. I went on a mission. After my mission, I worked for an engineering company that sent me to Washington D.C. to drat for them for a year. After that, I married and had a family. It was very important to me that my children had a good education. We had always wanted our kids to go to BYU, so we moved from Salt Lake to Utah valley. It helped to have a husband with a college degree. My three sons have wonderful degrees: one is a designer for General Motors, another is a CPA and works as comptroller for SUU and one is a pediatric dentist.

Throughout the years I had taken classes and was tutored many times. I tried to improve my reading, but nothing seemed to help. About fifteen years ago I was watching a PBS show about the brain. One of the comments they made about the brain was, “If you had dyslexia you can rewire the brain.” At that time I thought that to be an interesting idea. I had tried to improve my reading, but nothing seemed to help. Years went by and I concealed my problem form most people because when people found out about my reading difficulties they would treat me with less respect.

One day my daughter told me that her son was having problems with reading in school. I told her I would pay for tutoring classes for him. I didn’t want him to go through what I had been through all my life. I thought if they could help him while he was young he could overcome the problem. A few weeks later I was talking to my daughter about her son’s tutoring classes and she said that they had diagnosed him as having dyslexia and the teacher that tutored him is rewiring his brain. This rang a bell and I remember the PBS program I had heard years earlier and the brain and dyslexia. After my grandson finished two years of being tutored, I also took two years of instruction from his same teacher. I started from zero and worked my way up. Now I’m in Project Read with a wonderful tutor, Ashley McWhorter, who is not only helping me improve my reading but is helping me with grammar as well.

Discovering that I have dyslexia and learning that I could rewire my brain was a turning point in my life. I am grateful to my husband, Doug, who has tried to help me through these many years. It will be wonderful to take collage classes for credit some day. There have been many things I haven’t been able to do because of my reading problem, but it is exciting to know that I can improve.

 

Second Place

My Treasure

Lorena Corona

Education is a treasure. With this treasure I have the opportunity to find a good job. Education can help my kids get their own education. I can also help others outside of my family.

I will have the opportunity to find a good job. And I will have the money that I need for me and my family. And I will have a better work environment and benifits like health insurance. I will have the time and energy to be with my family. My kids are only young once and I don’t want to miss good time with them. Right now they need more than the things I can buy for them, they need my time and attention.

Education can help me to help my kids to get their own education. It will be asier for me to help my kids with their homework. My parents didn’t have the book knowledge to help me when I was in school. My mom only went to the third grade. My father had to leave school and work on his family farm. I can be an example for my kids and they are more willing to try. I remember that my dad told me to value education. It was the most important inheritance a parent can leave to their children.

I can also help others outside my family. Doctors save lives, lawyers resolve problems in courts. They get paid but they’re helping people. I think that the main goal to get an education is to help one another.

I remember when I came to the USA and stared in 8th grade. I didn’t speak any English. I needed help. There was a teacher who spoke Spanish, Mrs. Peter. She could of helped me, but she didn’t. She told me that I had to figure out things by myself. Thats the way I would learn. She told me that I needed to go to the library to check out a book. I didn’t know how to check out books. I asked Mrs. Peter to help me check out a book, she said no. Because she said no I wanted to quit school, I felt hopeless. Felt like a stranger in the school.

I will never do that to people when they need my help. I will use the things that I learn and know to help others. Today I’m working to read, and to write fluently in English. When I complete level four Compas ESL tests I will take regular classes in Utah Valley University. Sometimes I felt that I couldn’t do it because I think I am too old, and its too hard for me. But I told myself it’s not impossible. If I can do it I will have the treasure of education.

 

Third Place

Prompt #2

Anonymous

In 2003, I came to the United States and my sister helped me apply for a job as a bagger at Harmon’s. Now, eleven years later, I am still a loyal employee, but I want to do something else. In five years, I see myself with a driver’s license, an education, and a new career.

Six years ago, I decided to get my driver’s license. Over the years, I have passed the writing test seven times, but I have never had the time to practice enough to take the road test. Now, I want to be done with it and have my driver’s license. That will help me go to work and study at a community college, because I don’t want to rely on other people to help me. I am close to reaching this goal, and I should finish in the next month.

An education is important, because it gives more opportunities to get better jobs. I’m very self-conscious when my little one asks me questions in English that I do not understand. If I were in school, I would learn a lot of different subjects in English, so my English would be better. In five years, I want to study to be a CNA online or at a community college. I want to be a CNA so I can work at the hospital or at a care center. I think it is important for me to get an education and do something different.

In Haiti, I was a typing secretary, but I have forgotten everything. I used to be a fast typist, but now I type twenty words per minute. It’s been so long that I need new skills for a career. At my age, it is not easy to start a new career, but I think I can be a good CNA, because I can help people. I want new skills, and I want to make more money. I will be successful as a CNA, because I’m a good helper and I like people.

In the future, I want to have more opportunities. I know getting a new career, an education, and a driver’s license will help me improve my situation. I will work hard to make my dream come true.

 

Prompt #2

Laura Corpus

I grew up in a family where my parents didn’t go to college. While they didn’t get a professional certificate, I could tell they valued education even though they didn’t go to school. My dad worked since he was 12, and at the age of 15 his grandmother paid for a course where he got experience with electricity. He was so smart, successful, and talented that he got very good jobs. On the other hand, my mom was a “business woman”; she could sell anything she wanted. Most importantly, my parents taught me that education was valuable and my three siblings and I all went to college and graduated!

For the time being I don’t practice my profession outside the home. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communications in Sonora, Mexico, and worked at a company processing housing forms and contracts for federal employees. Now with my kids I teach and work in my home helping them to be organized and responsible at school and making sure they turn in their homework and projects on time. We also are working on a project about “saving money for their summer activities.” I want to teach my kids the value of earning money to pay for the things they want and to show them that things of value deserve and take hard work. Similarly, that’s why I think education is valuable. When you obtain education your mind is open and you are capable of making better decisions and visualizing your future.

I have promised myself to keep learning. Right now my goal is to learn English, my second language, and to eventually get a Masters in Psychology. I also want to motivate my kids to visualize and prepare their future, I’m always telling them that they will go to college no matter what because education is the only thing we are going to keep forever.

 

Prompt #2

Anonymous

 We all want to prosper in life and education is the key to a better life. I hope to graduate with a master’s degree in physical therapy, and when I do I will automatically open doors to a better future. Education will give me the opportunity for a higher salary. It will also help me reduce stress in my life and most importantly I enjoy and love what I do for a living. Education is important because I will earn more money, reduce stress, and is the foundation for my future.

With completing an education comes the opportunity to earn more money. When I earn more money I will be more independent. I know that working in any company without a diploma makes me independent but I have to work hard in production areas and long shifts in order to provide for me and my family. And in some ways I’ve become a slave to my job, therefore I’m not completely independent. But when I receive my diploma for completing my education I will have the opportunity to prove that I can hold a higher position and work in what I like. And most certainly I will not be working long and agitated hours. Another good thing about making more money is that opportunities for buying a house increases. Additionally, a better salary gives piece of mind since the possibilities of falling into debt are lower. Earning a higher salary also impacts stress levels; if I’m constantly worrying about how I’m going to cover this months’ rent or what bill to pay this time, life becomes stressful. But when I know I can cover those expenses my stress lessons.

Since I did not graduate from high school life has become very stressful. Helping my kids with their homework is always a challenge because they are already at a higher level of education than I am. At the moment I feel useless and I get frustrated not being able to help them with their assignments. I know I will gain more confidence when I complete my education because I will better prepared in my life. Then I will be able to help my kids with their assignments. Stress also negatively impacts my health. I get headaches, heartburn, sometimes it gets impossible to rest during my sleep. I know how much it takes away from our lives to not graduate. And I look forward to what I want to accomplish to live better. That is why I do not give up. I want my kids to complete their education so that in their future they may have a better life than I do.

Growing up I believed that education was completely out of my reach. Both of my parents hardly completed elementary school, surviving in their time was more of priority than education. Both of my parents come from poor and large families and none of them have ever completed their education. I never had an education role model to follow. I knew I had to graduate at least from high school because I wanted a better life. But it seemed so impossible, I was so afraid that I gave up before trying. Now I’m a mother of three wonderful children and I do not want them to live under the stress and insecure environment that I grew up in. That is why I have returned to school. And I plan to graduate and earn my physical therapist certificate. For me education is the foundation to my future. Enjoying what I do for a living and becoming a good role model to my kids will be the most satisfying accomplishment. I want to have the time and the energy to be with my family. I want my children to feel proud of being part of our family. I want to model success for them because that is what I wish for their future. And the only way to get success is by education.

I know I’m at the bottom of the pyramid, it is not going to be easy but neither is it impossible. I want to get to the top and for me receiving my diploma for completing my education is the top. I want to feel that I have accomplished something in my life. I know I will encounter detours but I don’t want to lose my focus. My goal is completing my education for all the reasons I mentioned earlier and much more. That is my treasure and it awaits for me on the top of the pyramid.

 

By Little Things You Become Great

Anonymous

When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time watching musical shows, dancing performances and Disney movies. I loved the idea of being a superstar or a gorgeous princess. I remember how I sang and danced all day long just thinking how I could be a successful person.

Years went by and I became a teenager and I realized that I was capable to do so many things. Perhaps I didn’t show up on a T.V. screen, but at least my friends always were asking me for help with their math problems or asking for advice with their personal lives.

When I was a young adult I decided to be a graphic designer. It wasn’t easy at all, but once I got done with my classes I got a job in a really good agency. Creating brands, I discovered that I was unhappy. I was spending my whole life in front of a computer creating things for pampered clients, so I felt that I needed a change, something that would bring me back the feelings of being useful. As days passed, I was just pondering about the things I had to change. Suddenly, I got a strong impression that going on a mission would be the best thing to do at that moment and that was totally right.

My mission in Rancagua, Chile was the best place to discover who I really was; I understood that my superstar side was in helping people. One of my favorite experiences was one that happened right after a big earthquake shook Chilean lands. I remember how the people were so devastated and they were begging God for help. I was so sad and wondered about the things I should say to these people after all the destruction was around us. The only thing I could think was how Jesus Christ’s teachings will give hope and happiness back to these people. So my companion and I talked with them and immediately I could see a change in their countenances, it was like all the pain and sorrow were gone forever.  That gave me the best feeling on earth, I was a superhero and it wasn’t necessary to be on a Rolling Stone magazine cover. Everything I did was because I was doing the right thing at the right moment.

After my mission I knew that the best mission ever would be in the walls of my own home. I guess I got married really fast but I was happy to do it.

I remember one morning I woke up and I felt really disappointed. I thought to myself, “Well my routine life has changed, now it’s pretty much: changing diapers, making food, barely taking a shower, cleaning house and again barely sleeping. What a dramatic change! What kind of living I was living? Is this what I really wanted to do?” Then, “Am I a successful person?” I asked myself, and as a conclusion, “I am not a superhero anymore.” These kinds of thoughts started to come up and when I was to the point of giving up, my dear husband answered me the best answer ever to my questions. He said, “Margarita do you really want to know what is a successful person to me?” He continued, “Well , you can be a successful person everyday, but everything is up to you, all depends on your decisions and in the way you see life, for example when you are setting  your goals per day, you are saying, ‘Well , I will wake up at 7:00, I will learn a new recipe or I will smile more frequently,’ and so, those are things if you are able and willing to do them I am pretty sure that you are going to feel like a successful person again.” He finished, “It is by little things that you become great.”

Right now, I am learning how to drive a stick shift car, and I have to say it was amazing the first time I was able to start the car and I could see that everything was moving around me. That was amazing and worth it. I say worth it because I spent like a whole week just trying to make it start, and some of the results were, noisy sounds coming from the engine and wheels. Pretty much it sounded like a pig at the moment of his sacrifice. I will never forget my husband’s face, so pale and scared. There was a moment when I was to the point of giving up, but I knew that I was the only one who was capable to put obstacles in  my way with learning something new , so I decided to keep trying again and again, until one day all my efforts were enough to have better results.

Today I feel so blessed for the conviction I have of the power of doing the things you want to get done, it is something amazing! Everything starts by little things; I mean without persistence we cannot achieve our goals, even if our goals are simple like mine. Driving a car perhaps is something so simple but for me was huge and it took many hours of dedication until I got my first result.

As I said in the beginning, I spent a lot of time in my childhood watching T V shows. It wasn’t  bad , but today I know if I really want to do something  I must stop dreaming of or wishing for about something that maybe someday and  somehow will appear next to me, like it was done by my fairy godmother.

The reality is that you are your own “Fairy Godmother”, you are the only one who can change your destiny. We cannot see our strengths until we are willing to recognize our own weaknesses. In other words if one of your weaknesses is being lazy, how can you know the abilities you are good at? There is no other way to become successful but with persistence and by little things. I would never have discovered who I really was, what I really like , if instead I would have preferred to be a couch potato  sitting down and  wasting my time watching  TV shows about dreams  that maybe someday I will have.

As Ros-Lethinen the first female Hispanic in Congress in the United States once said, “Set goals, work hard, keep high standards. Believe in yourself. And above all, show persistence.

 

Prompt #1

Fran Chamberlain

I have decided to write about two of my accomplishments that are related to each other. They both describe, or illustrate how we tried to keep Christ in Christmas. As a background, when our children were very young we would bundle them up and take goodies around the neighborhood, singing Christmas carols, as we stopped at each door. Some of the songs were about Christ, although many were not. At Christmas we would read the story of Christ’s birth from Luke, and the children dressed up and played the parts of the manger scene. This was sufficient when they were young, but as they grew we needed to try a new approach to maintain their interest in Christ. Based on that, I had an idea that resulted in my first achievement.

My first achievement occurred when I was the Activities Chairman for our Ward. I decided to try something new for our Ward Christmas Party. I asked the Activities Committee if they would be willing to put on “An Evening in Bethlehem”, and they agreed. We worked together to transform the Cultural Hall in tot the town of Bethlehem. We made the stage into a synagogue where the Rabbi could read from the Old Testament about the coming birth of Christ. We turned one corner of the hall into a Hebrew school for children where they could learn to write a few words in Hebrew. There was a carpenter’s shop for folks to make something out of wood. We had a potter’s shop where they could watch a potter throw a pot and could make a pot out of Play Dough. We created an inn where they could have some food and even draw out a drink from the well. Many people came in costumes—bathrobes with turbans or scarf’s. Each person was given a little bag with wood-cut coins, which were cut from thin slices of a tree branch. If they ran out of money to spend, they could come back for more. There was a drop box at each station for the wooden coins. After everyone had spent time going to each station around the hall, an angel dressed in white blew his trumpet and announced the birth of Christ. A choir dressed in white started to sing as we opened the overflow area. Everyone gazed on the Nativity scene as the Bishop read from Luke about the birth of Christ. We all sang Christmas carols and ended the evening with “Silent Night”. No Santa, no Christmas candy, no Christmas tree, it was all about Christ and just something different for a change. Everyone on the committee mentioned how wonderful it felt to have Christ in Christmas. The next Bethlehem Christmas party was even better.

As our children grew older we needed a new idea to help them want to share Christmas Even with the family. One Christmas Eve, as I was driving home from my brother’s house, someone on the radio was explaining bout a Bethlehem dinner for Christmas Eve. This explanation clicked with me and helped me create my second achievement for keeping Christ in Christmas. It was the very idea for which I was looking. So that night, we took a fold-up table and left the legs in, put it on two boxes so it was low, set pillows around the table to sit on and dressed up for our first Bethlehem dinner. The next year was even better with candles and more variety of foods that Jesus would have eaten. The children wanted to be there and would even bring their friends. We had figs, dates, olives, pita bread stuffed with tuna salad, grapes, cheeses to eat and fresh homemade bread to break. We ate by candlelight and listened to “the Messiah” playing in the background. As we ate we talked about Christ and the events of His ministry. This was the beginning of our special Bethlehem Christmas Eve dinners. We are much older now and our children are all married with children of their own. And some of them still have Bethlehem dinner on Christmas Eve for one of their enjoyable traditions. As we go through life and experience all the materialistic parts of Christmas, it helps to remind ourselves to keep Christ in Christmas. This has been a wonderful achievement for me and my family.

 

Prompt #1

Anonymous

 I came to the United States in July 200 when my children were on school vacation. I planned to come to the US because I had to have surgery. The specialists in Haiti said they didn’t’ have the equipment to do it and it would be too difficult. I came and I was lucky to find a doctor named Dr. Emory (name has been changed). He was very nice to help me and do the surgery. I went back to Haiti and, unfortunately, the doctors said I had to have the surgery again. In 2001, I came back and had a second surgery with Dr. Emory and then went back to Haiti. Again, the doctors told me that I had to have another surgery. So, I planned to come back to the U.S. with my whole family. It was not just because of the surgery but also because of the political situation in Haiti.

My husband came to my sister’s house in Utah first, so he could get settled. After a few months, I sent my two daughters and then after that, I came in December 2003 with the boys. We got an apartment and put the children in school. Then, my first preoccupation was the surgery. I needed to find a way to do it.

We started to go to the LDS church and prayed. WE met a doctor at the church, and he tried to help me. He referred me to a specialist. Finally, I had the third surgery. Since then, I have felt good. Getting through the surgeries was a very big accomplishment for me. If I had stayed in Haiti, I would not be here today. I am lucky I got a visa to come to the U.S.

I always pray for Dr. Emory who helped me first in 2000 to 2001, for Dr. Brown (name has been changed) at church who helped me and referred me, and for Dr. Smithson (name has been changed) at Memorial Hospital (name has been changed). I don’t think I can find the words to say thank you to these people. I am very grateful to be the in the U.S. Now, I can think about my future, because I am alive.

During this whole time, my husband and I worked to get jobs. After we got our green cards, we applied for citizenship. The test wasn’t easy, but I passed it and got my citizenship. I had to learn English to take the test and study hard. I am still learning and love English class. Someday I will be able to speak English better.

Getting through the surgeries and becoming a United States citizen are two great accomplishments in my life. I am so happy to be in the U.S. with my family and be alive today.

 

Prompt #1

Frumencio Chavarria-Lemus

I want to mention a little more than two accomplishment just to mention and do not to forget them, as follow:

I.I. My marriage (with my wife) and being established our lovely family

I have to recognize one of my (our) great and happy successful when I got married with my wife on October 9, 1973 and for different reasons, our marriage was so difficult to formalized.

But my girlfriend Raquel showed me since the beginning at that time that she was in love and be able to support me at all.  I am very happy and proud of us to live together since I meet her.

Raquel my wife has been so sweet and lovely woman who has helped all of us (our kids and grandkids and sons in law) to rejoyce our lifes and share the best of our feelings  in our homes with experiences and challenges that we have faced.

Since our happiness and balancing life in our marriage, toward with our kids, it helped to me in having the support and inspiration to build planning in my own business and professional career in elevators industry and construction services in Mexico and planning to travel and move to USA, to the best placed thanks to the wonderful people, members of The LDS-Church.

Making all the efforts and trying to look for a better life, I can feel that we got the very best challenge to left our own country, but living a better life toward with generous and sincerely people from Utah.

I.2. To have moved from my original country (Mexico) to my new country (USA).

It is a very special gift to be living in Utah and share our time with good and very generous people who are really interested in our material and spiritual needs.  It make me feel safe and inspirited to work for a better life for us and for our neighbors as well as our family.

1.3. Be baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days and to get a good testimony of JC

1.4. My professional career and successful in business.

1.5. To enjoy reading, studying English and listening music.

1.6. In sports, having participated in the Mexican league and national selection of American football.

 

Prompt #2

Part of my interest in the life has been reading, studying and hard working.  Today I feel that in USA is the land of the opportunities for people to want to grow and being successful through the items that I have mentioned.  I am looking for opportunities to get my way and attend a University but first studying English as my second language in order to try to get a University Master, no matter how long it can take.

I consider that education is very valuable for developing better skills to understand our own lifes but to for love and know people as our neighbors.  Education is part of our integral spiritual part as part of Mankind and good examples of ourselves.  Educational is important to increase our understanding and human resources and habits.

I would like to study History and Social Sciences, as Economy and Politics to try to complete my intellectual, professional and spiritual knowledge.  I understand that English could do it for me since my understanding today is limited and part of my weakness to express my thought completely.

I know that my future will be better when I understand better English with all their tools as vocabulary, pronunciation an listening radio and talks from English speaking people.  My next plans are read, write and study Real Estate Principles to get my licensed in that matter.

 

Prompt #3

One of my weakness is not to understand listening English.  Long talks are so difficult to me to follow and understand because vocabulary and a little hard listening and shy to ask to repeat and phone calls and radio news.  Reading I feel better but not listening as I would like.

I believe that to overcome these weaknesses will be necessary to listen more time radio and audio in English.

 

Prompt #4

I like technology, History, Social Sciences, Politics, Real Estate and Trading (Financial hability) and Music.  But again, I am very interested in learning and understand better English in order to be a professional in these disciplines.

 

Prompt #5

For mu future life, I am thinking and planning continuing studies and get financial resources through my professional working that could help me to develop my skills in English to get a better jobs.  In five years I would like to have more University grades as Master and live in my own home as in the past in Mexico trying to recover part of my patrimonial resources that I left abandon in Mexico.

I would like too, learn to play guitar and piano if it is possible and sing better in my personal life and in my ward as people that I have met and herad.

In health, I want the best for my family and for myself doing exercises and swimming.

 

My Accomplishments and goals

Raquel Flores

I had in my life some important accomplishments. It has not been easy but I feel proud for that. I worked 30 years in Education in Mexico and I would like to use my experience in U.S.A. It will be interest. Although in this country, the teaching is different, even so, I can do that. I worked ten years in preschool where I learned to love to the children after that, I worked in High School. This level educative level taught me to know the characteristic of the adolescents. My best experience was in Education School. I taught different courses of the school curriculum and I gave support the future teachers.

I would like to get my license for to teach and to work in public or private Middle school teaching Spanish in the Dual Language Immersion program. So, I need to improve my skills to speak English and to pass my OPI test because it is important requirement to get my license.

Finally, I want to say that the life is no easy, but I know that I can accomplish my goal with perseverance and with the support from my teacher. My goal is to teach Spanish in Utah and to give support to the students whom want to learn a second language. Thus, I could to do that I like. Teaching is my passion.

 

Prompt #4

Scarlett Guerrero

I feel passionately about a law career. When I was little I felt and knew that everything is possible if you work on it everyday, but even thought it is possible it won’t be easy. Everyday I used to watch movies and TV shows about law and lawyers and judicial systems.
So my passion for justice continues to grow.

I was born in Mexico and in junior high school and high school I decided to do my best, to become a lawyer. I moved to Utah one and a half years ago.  In High school I learned about the career of law and that it has many options.

In my senior year I had an accident where somebody ran over me and lied about his insurance and everything. I was kind of scared and surprised at the same time, but someone asked me to go to his lawyer and that he will help me. After he helped me with my case, we started talking about my interests about law and the judicial system. He also told me that as I begin college he will help me learn about being a lawyer and set goals with him. As I learn more and work on it, he will give me a job.

I think I really want to study law but not to become a lawyer because I don’t want to protect or defend somebody who did badly. I want to do the research and be part of it behind the lawyer and the best way to do this is to become in a paralegal. The judicial System and its branches are so extensive, my mind changed but not too much. I determined that it is better to study paralegal than to become a lawyer, so I will help people in different way.

 

Prompt #1

Wilma Medina

My name is Wilma Medina de Molina. I am from Caracas, Venezuela; a beautiful country but it has a terrible political and economic situation. I am at eacher in Special Educaiton, specifically working with children who have difficulties learning to read and write. I am married and I have two sons.

My best accomplishment is my family. I have been married for 25 years; my elder son is 25 years old and he studies at UVU, his major is Political Science (he will graduate this spring). He is the President of the International Student Council. Also, he has represented UVU in several activities such as the UN conference in New York, Model UN, West Conference and Mountain Projects in NY and Washington DC. My younger son is 20 years old and he studies at UVU; he is a member of the International Student Council and the Latino Leadership Student Council. My sons are successful because of the effort, attention and love that we give them as parents.

My other accomplishment is my profession. I have helped a lot of student with problems, and now they are professionals. For example, one of them had problems in class: low grades, and problems interacting with other students. He also had a poor relationship with his teachers and the principal. After an evaluations and 8 months of therapy he had better grades and I advised his parents to change to another school to have a better environment. Today, he is a professional engineer. Another student I taught was in first grade. He had a high IQ, but he did not want to do the work in class. His performance was low and he had difficulties interacting with adults. A big problem was his age; he was only 5 years old. My advice was to keep him in the same grade develop a connection with me. He repeated the grade with me and in the next year he had a good performance. All my experience as a teacher have been gratifying because I have left good experience in my students such as self-confidence, friendship, security, good habits and love.

 

Prompt #2

 I think education is very important because you can have a better future, quality of life and grow as a person. With education you can come out of the shadow of ignorance and open your mind to new horizons and develop your own opinions about the world. Also, you can avoid being persuaded by others into believing something that is wrong. As a woman, I have tried to share my times as a mother, as a wife and as professional. I think that all women should study and prepare for a future and to be an example to their families.

Right now I am studying Hospitality and Management at UVU because I was thinking of having my own catering business. Enjoy making cakes for special occasions. However, that project would take a long time to start because I need some money to start my business. I am an international student and I must work as part-time student on Campus. Now, I am thinking of returning to my first profession as a teacher. I will take some classes for Elementary Education and take a test so I can get a license. I like to teach and I know that I will be happy teaching here in an immersion class in an elementary school. Maybe with time, I can do both: be a teacher and a pastry chef.

 

Prompt #3

I know as a person I have some weaknesses but the biggest right now is my ability to speak English. I need to improve because it would permit me to work in my profession, to communicate better with other people and start a conversation. Actually, I am taking English classes through Project Read to improve my conversation, reading and writing. I hope that in a short time, I can speak and write very well in English. The most important thing is that I have awareness about my weakness and I am doing everything I can to overcome this situation and improve my English skills.

 

Prompt #4

I want to study Culinary Art because I like to make cakes for special occasion such as weddings, baptisms, graduations, birthdays, etc. Additionally, I like to decorate the cake’s table with accessories, lights, flower or candies, to create the best place for a picture, creating a beautiful memory for a great day. Also, as a teacher, I like to teach and I feel concern if some child has difficulties learning. I am always researching, looking for the best method to teach some knowledge that is hard to learn adapting the activities according the child’s needs. The most important accomplishment a teacher can have is that the child achieves learning.

 

Prompt #5

I plan on living here in Utah because for me and my family it is dangerous back in Venezuela. I hope to live here working as a teacher and making a lot f cakes and desserts. The best way to stay here is an international student or with an H1 work visa. I would like to have my theater’s license because then I could obtain a Visa.

Also I plan on continuing studying at UVU and going to the churches and schools to inform about UVU. I will continue my activity in the Latino Drama Club. This is a theater in Spanish and the objective is to go to schools performing works as Latino writers. I think that it is important because it is culture and a lot of Latinos (especially the adults) do not have the opportunity to go to the theater because it is in English.

I think it’s the best way to compensate and show my gratitude to the community that has helped me get a place where I can live in peace and security with my family.

 

My Future Plans

Yurdiana Ortega Hernandez

Have people thought about their future lives? Well in my opinion, it is really important that people take a minute to make a plan about their future life to be able to establish goals and work on them. I would like to take a minute and write about my future plans for five years from now. My plans are to get married, have babies, and finish my career.

Something really important in my life is to get married. One of the purposes about being in the world is to have our own family, because of that we need to get married first. I want to feel the feeling about having a husband in my life. I want to have a partner that can help me to reach my goals and can be with me in difficult times. I want to have a husband that can make me laugh. I want to progress with him. Also, I would like to have company, so that we can take care of each other. In my life plans I have it in mind to get married.

Having babies is another important thing for me because babies light up people’s lives. I saw the birth of my niece and nephew, and it was really special. They grew up in my house, and I could see how wonderful it is to see how babies learn things day by day like how to walk, how to eat by themselves, how to go to the bathroom, etc. They always do funny things and make people have fun and laugh a lot. Babies know how to make people’s lives wonderful; it is why one of my plans is to have babies.

Everything in life is awesome, but having a career is important too. When a person is prepared, that person has better job opportunities. Albert Einstein said, “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. I know that when we invest in our education, we can generate job opportunities and greater financial security. It is why having a career is important to me, and I will do that part of my plans.

Everyone needs to have plans in his/her life to be able to achieve goals. We need to have the most important plans sought after. To me, the most important plans in my life are to get married because it is the way to have a family, to have babies because they help people to have a wonderful life, and to have a career because it is essential in people’s lives if they want to have a good economic situation.

 

It Came From Outer Space

Rick Ferrin

I was looking out the window while I was sitting on a chair, when I saw a big flash of light in the night sky! Then I felt the ground shake beneath my feet. After I saw the light, I sw an object in my neighbors back yard. When all of a sudden I saw something crawl out of a cone shaped object. Then, as soon as I saw this, I froze in my chair. All I could see was a funny looking creature crawling up the kitchen window. After the initial shock wore off, I was starting to shake in my chair that was near the window. I decided to get down off the chair and look through the window.

As I looked through the window, I saw some tenticles starting to climb up the window. It was in the shape of a human hand only it had suction cups on its fingers . The color of the hand was red wrinkled up like an old man. As it moved higher on the window, you could see its arms and part of its body which were hideous to behold. By this time, the head started to appear. It was shaped like a human head only it had a short horn in the middle of its forehead.

Its face had two eyes like a humans only they were red. The mouth had lips and white teeth. Just as I was about to open up the window when my little sister Angie walked into the room and started screaming at the Alien creature on our window. As soon as the creature heard her screams, It jumped off the window and started to run with its short stubby legs along the path to the spaceship. As it approached the spaceship it started to open up the door which seemed to appear from nowhere.

While all of this was happening, Angie was trying to get a better view of the creature from the window. She was on her tip toes trying to see out the window, but she could only see as far as the garbage cans in our backyard. Then she struggled to get up on the chair that was next to the window. While Angie was trying to get up on the chair, I was about to run after the alien, but my brain started to think about the consequences of such a hasty decision. A dozen different things came to my mind as I pondered what might happen to me if I carelessly ran up to the alien. Since I couldn’t see the creature from the kitchen window anymore, I decided to get some help from someone else besides myself.

I tried calling the Police, but the phone was dead because the alien space ship had severed the phone lines when it crashed. (There were not any cell phones in the 1950’s). My only mode of transportation was my bicycle which was lying on the back lawn near the creatures landing site. I was so scared of the alien that I hesitated to pick up my bike and ride to town three miles away. My bike didn’t have a light on it so it,would be difficult to see the road in the dark. Now I realized that I had better do something to help my little sister to safety.

Angie ran to John who was in the Kitchen. Angie climbed up on his lap and started to cry. Trying to sooth her, he carried her to the living room couch. When she finally calmed down, John tried to get Angie to help him to find a way out of their dire situation. They couldn’t find a way to communicate to the outside world with their phone out of order, so they devise a plan to get help from town. At first they thought about using the bike to pull to wagon with Angie in it. Then to make the wagon ride more comfortable, they lined the bottom of the wagon with soft pillows from the living room couch, finally everything was ready to embark on their trip to town. It was still dark so they devised a way to have light to guide them on the road. B taping a flashlight to the handle bars on the bike they had plenty of light to guide them the three miles to Cannonville. Angie complained about the bumpy ride in the noisy, rusty, old wagon. When we arrived the towns people were all gathered together talking about the flashes of light on the out –skirts of the town.

They were successful, in getting John and Angie to tell them what was happening in their neighborhood. After being informed about the alien and their ship, the crowd started to get into their cars, and go find out for themselves, what was really going on in Johns’ neighborhood. At about this time Johns and Angies parents had arrived from Dallas Airport from vacation in the Bahamas. Now it was time for them to solve the mystery of the alien spaceship. Their young adult son John, and five year old Angie, arrived in a friends’ car just minutes before their parents. While Johns parents were traveling home on the airplane, they saw a flash of light through the window. This was at about the same time that John noticed the flash of light from the kitchen window.

Maybe this was the same flash of light that Johns parents saw on the airplane. John and Angie started walking toward the spacecraft. Their parents George and Samantha, stopped then before they could step out of the living room. An argument started between George and John over what they should do next. After a few choice words , they started to settle down and think about what the next smart move should be. Just after they calmed down, they heard some sirens blarring outside their window.

The Police from Cannonville started to ring the door bell. It was Officer Jackson of the Sherrifs Department. He asked John and Angie what they saw in the neighbors backyard? They informed him what they had seen earlier that evening. As they viewed the neighbors back yard , they could see a pole shaped object starting to accend out of the spaceship. It was red in color and was about ten feet long when it stopped moving. Suddenly a light started flashing form the top of pole. It was bright like the sun, only it flashed off and on. Everyone could see the whole backyard enveloped in light. It was amazing that such a small light could be so bright. It was weird to see what this light could do to the people who viewed it. People who were within twenty feet of this light started to fall asleep. This startled all those who were further away from the light. Evereyone started to flee to their cars as fast as they could run. No one dared to walk up to the spaceship.

After everyone had left in their cars, the streets became deserted. Those who fell asleep were carried away in their cars to the hospital in town. While at the hospital,  the people started to wake up, but their memory of falling asleep was erased from their minds. They had no clue why they fell asleep,but it didn’t seem to harm them in any way. This mystery would have to be solved at another time, because there was no other flashed of light on the Earth around Cannonville.

This scared the towns people who witnessed the flashes of light. It was so hard for them to cope with so much action occurring all at once. The towns people were in panic mode after seeing lights in the skies. They were running to their cars to get out of town. But there wasn’t anywhere to go to get out of the range of those lights. The people started to calm down when the sherriff showed up in the town square. He told them to go home and wait for more information to be given over the radio or tv.

About an hour later,the T.V. announcer reported that there had been several sitings ofspace ships landing near town. This news really got the attention of the people of Canonville. The radio station reported that they were going to have a town meeting immediately. The meeting was in Canonville Court House. It was overflowing with town residents. Everyone was concerned about all the space ships landing in their small town. No one was prepared for such an invasion from outerspace. The Army and Airforce had been contacted by the sheriffs office.

During all the confusion hardly anyone noticed that the spacecraft that had crashed in  the neighbors back yard, was starting to move. It hovered about a foot off the ground.  Then it settled down on the ground again in a cloud of dust. Only John saw the spacecraft hover and then settle down abruptly.

The other space ships started to make funny noises as they were being investigated by the reporters. They showed some more spaceships on T V that night. But they were warned not to get within twenty feet of the ships, or they would start falling asleep if they got closer than that distance. Someone figured out a way to get closer to the space ships. By putting on sunglasses to block the bright light. This idea worked out with great success to those who could hear it. This problem had to be solved or no one would get any sleep that night.

They decided to call a noise expert to figure out how to muffle or mask the sound coming from those ships. This problem had to be solved as soon as possible or all the people would all go crazy. They needed to do something but what should they do? They couldn’t move the spacecraft because of the size of them. Nor could they put soundproof material over them because of the size of the ships. But they could apply foam over the speakers to silence them.

This would be the answer to this problem. Everyone was trying to plug their ears so they wouldn’t hear the high pitched sounds. The sounds started to subside because of the foam that was sprayed on the speakers. Now they had to figure a way to communicate with the aliens.

Up until now no one has even tried to have an encounter with the outerspace visitors. I don’t think they had any desire to contact the earthlings at that time. They didn’t seem too excited about any communication from anyone. John didn’t seem to get a good response from them in his first encounter. Ever since the alien ran away no one had ever tried to talk to them.

They decided to have the military try their ways of communicating with the aliens. First thing they did was to set up huge speakers in front of the spacecraft to get a response from them. The police investigated the flying saucers, but didn’t communicate with them yet. Now the military will take their turn at it.

They planned on playing classical music to try and get a response from them. The neighborhood wanted to get some sleep that night , so they didn’t want tot turn it up too loud. At about this time the sun was starting to come up. When all the sudden the ground started to shake very violently when they tried to move the spacecraft from its landing place. During the night they tried to dig around the first spacecraft. The ground stopped shaking when they stopped digging around the spaceship.

They tried to figure out why the spacecraft didn’t fly away after it crashed landed. Was it a normal landing or an accident that occurred. They had to figure out this before they could do anything with the spaceship. The other ships that landed didn’t seem like they had any problems in landing safely. It seemed that the other space ships landed to give the first spaceship assistance. All this started to make sense if you thought about it for a while.

It wasn’t an invasion, but actually a rescue mission instead! Not that they determined that there was no danger they decided to knock on the spaceship hull. Not only did the door open quickly, but the alien started to crawl out of the spaceship. It moved very slowly and then it started to walk toward the policeman. It startled the officer by its appearance. The creature wasn’t so scary looking as we thought it looked in the dark.

When we looked at him It started to mouth some human words. Then it began to speak in broken english to the officer. The alien tried to tell us why they had landed on earth. The other ships came to help repair the ship. It was just other ships tring to help a fellow space traveler. The reason they didn’t communacate was because they were trying to learn English. This new information calmed everyone who had gathered around the spacecraft.

No longer was anyone frightened of the aliens spaceships.  Instead they offered them what ever assistance they could think of. Aftera few days the spaceship was repaired and ready to take off. Once this was accomplished the aliens shared some of their new technology with the people who helped them. After they showed us a lot of their advanced technology I watched as they disappeared into the night sky over Cannonville.

THE END

Grand Prize: Micheline Montfleury

Tutor: Jessica Ransom

The Life of Mariane

Mariane came from a good Haitian family. She lived with her parents who loved her and cared for her. She got everything she needed. She loved her parents, and her parents loved her very much.

When Mariane was nine years old, there was a tragic car accident. Mariane’s dad died immediately, and her mother was badly injured. She was transported to the hospital and died in surgery. Mariane became an orphan.

Mariane went to live at her mother’s sister’s house. She helped her aunt in the evenings and went to school in the mornings. Mariane became a beautiful young woman.

After she graduated high school, she started working at a grocery store. A man who always shopped there fell in love with her. After a few weeks, they started dating.

Mariane loved to talk to her best friend, Taly, about her boyfriend. On their free day, they went to the movies and went shopping together. They exchanged ideas and gave each other advice about their boyfriends.

Mariane and George went to dinner one night. They talked about everything that happened in their lives before they met. They talked about their parents. Marianne was happy that she met George. She loved him, and they planned to spend more time together

When George got home after the date, he was thinking about getting married to Mariane. Suddenly, he received a phone call from Taly, who told him Mariane had been kidnapped.

After the date, Mariane went home. She was watching TV when a man came to her house through the window. He put his hand over her mouth and pushed her into his car.

While they were driving, Mariane recognized the man. He had tried to tell her he loved her before. She didn’t like him. He tried to force her to like him, but Mariane did not want to give up on George. She said, “I will never give up on George. I would rather die than love you!” He started beating Mariane and tried to kill her.

George was looking for Mariane. He found out where Mariane was. He came to the building and started fighting with the man who took her. The man tried to kill him, so Mariane took the man’s gun and killed him.

George held Mariane and told her, “It’s okay.” He tried to calm her down. He took Mariane to his house to keep her safe. They spent the whole night together and he promised to get married soon.

A few months later, Mariane and George got married. They bought a beautiful house in Haiti. They had lots of children and had a very happy life.

 

Second Place: Myriam Gonzalez

Tutor: Yvette Clark

The Strange Story of Provo’s Poisonous Spider

What a dangerous spider there was in provo Utah!

It started to bite people!

A man was bitten, and ended up in the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The hospital reported the incident to the Discovery Channel for an investigation.

Discovery sent a detective to start an investigation of the poisonous spider in provo. but he wasn’t doing a good job, so He got fired.

In the meantime, the spider bit this poor old man, causing him to jump and slam his hands down on the table!

Discovery started to recive many calls, complaining that the spider was still biting and poisoning people.

Discover sent out, new and better detectives

One of the new detectives went to the hospital to interview the victims one by one, to be able to catch the spider.

In the mean time the poor old man was almost completely out of his mind from the effects of the spider bite.

The highly intelligent spider was waiting for the detective in his office, and when the detective walked in the door, the spider shot his web, blinding him!

The detectives frends heard his screams for help, and they kicked the door in to rescue him.

The detectives prepared a plan of how to finish off the poisonous spider.

They blew the spider to snithereens. and provo utha was once again the same beatiful safe city.

 

Third Place: Sylvia Reyes

Tutor: Kim Hintze

The Rescue

Once upon a time in Idaho there lived a father named George with his two sons Jason & John,

Jason was always more obedient unto his father than John,

One day George told Jason that he misses the old John. George told Jason that he wants to go find his Brother John.

Jason finally found John, he told John father wants to see you when does he want to see me?

John got mad at his brother and his father he wanted to shoot him, Jason said it not good to fight we’re brothers.

John run away to the house. He wanted to kill his father so he lit the house on fire he thought his father as inside.

his nexts plan of revenge was to kidnap Letty, Jason girlfriend and John tied her hands and mouth and he left her in a little house out of the town.

Jason started looking for her, he went to the stores around the town. When he went to the last store, the men at the store told Jason that the last time he saw letty it was with John.

He rode his horses to his brother’s house.

On his way he found John. Jason asked “where’s Letty? John said I don’t know where she is. John laughter sarcastedly.

Jason went to the house to find Letty and his dad Jorge. The house was burning, he was really worry about Letty and his dad so he just jumped through the window Letty and his dad were in unconscious.

His adrenaline helped him save Letty and his dad. Letty got better faster than Jorge so she took care of Jorge. They all live happy.  END

This is a compilation of entries from the 2013 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.

Writing contest instructions:

2013-Holiday-Memories_Tutor-Letter
2013-Holiday-Memories

Student Writing – Holiday Memory

on Nov 27, 2013

Writing a letter for The Three Wise Men

Not all the children ask for gifts from Santa Claus.

In Mexico a big part of the population ask for gifts from the Three Wise Men, in remembrance of the presents they brought to Christ in the manger.

I can remember my siblings and me writing our letters many times the very day in which we received the gifts.

January 6th is an important celebration for children in Mexico. Of course, when they are writing their letters, they are the best children ever.

That day we eat the traditional “Rosca de Reyes”

It’s a special bread for that celebration. It symbolizes that we are welcoming them after their long journey to visit Christ.

Mexico has lots of celebrations at the end and the begining of every year.

This is just one of those.

 

Written by Nicolas Mandujano

Student Writing May 2013

on May 30, 2013

From Today On

From today on, I shall cut my waist size.

From today on.

Today I shall cut my midnight snack.

And everyday, no matter how hungry I am at midnight.

I shall say:

From today on, I shall do some exercise.

And after tomorrow, I shall repeat many times.

Writing Sample March 2013

on May 14, 2013

Even thought I know she is a well teacher. I most letter go to help another student, because I found a job that takes me all the noon and evening. But I hope she will be my friend forever. Even when we never see each other you will be my friend. You can count on me if sometime you have a problem. Thank you Jan for taking your personal time to help others. I hope sometime I can do the same to help other too.

P.S. I still have to study more English and a new career. I haven’t forget.

Bunnary Ang Writing Sample February 2013

on Feb 14, 2013

My Feelings about Little Princess

I like the Little Princess story. It’s both a happy and sad story.

It was sad when Sara’s dad died and she became poor. Mis Minchine didn’t allow Sara to study any more. So she became a servant. She worked hard all day and all night. Someties there was no food for her to eat. She slept in the attic and it was very cold. Her clothes and shoes were very old, but she still was a good girl.

It was also a happy story. Before her dad died she was very rich, but she was a clever and a friendly girl. She was always nice and helped all her friends, even though she was poor. She was still strong and happy. By the end of the story she became rich again and she still helped all her friends.

Student Writing

on Apr 3, 2012

By Cassandra Hood

I want my grandson to live with me because. I am worried about him. First reason I think it will be alot of fun to take care of a kid again because I miss raising kids of my own.Second reason I think it will be fun on raising a kid is you get to play with the kid to keep you active. Third reason that I want my grandson to live with me because my son isn’t taking care of my grandson the right way. Fourth reason I think my grandson should live with me is that I will raise him better than his father did. Next reason it will remind me how much I miss raising my own kids and I would like to raise a kid again. This is all the reasons that I would raise my grandson for his parents.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2012 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.

Juan Acosta Writing Sample November 2012

on Nov 9, 2012

A Broken Arm

When I was six years old, I was climbing a tree. I was trying to grab a branch and hold on as my uncle was doing. I missed the branch and fell six ft, falling on my arm.

My arm was fractured. At the hospital they put on a cast. I had it for a month.

Later I fell out of another tree and broke my arm in the same place.

Juan Acosta Writing Sample October 2012

on Oct 31, 2012


Bargain

If you want a good price on tires don’t go to a tire store.

I bought $500-worth of truck tires at a used car parts dealer, and spent only $200.

I also bought four for my car at different places for $120.

You can find bargains if you look for them.

Writing Sample October 2012

on Oct 31, 2012

Dear Len Wiske,

Did you remember me when I had a job interview with you at your office. I just want to thank you for that interview. Also, I would like to say that I am looking forward to work at your company because I realy feel that your company is one of  the best companies in town.

I think I would be a good fit for your company.

Sincerely, Oralia Moreno

Writing Sample August 2012

on Oct 5, 2012

In Guatemala City on the play ground of the school something happened that day that I never forgot. When I was in school in 3rd grade there was a girl that didn’t like me. She was a bully.

We had fight, and she pushed me over a big root of a tree. I tripped and twisted my knee. My dad put splint on my leg that wore 8 weeks, and then after a few weeks I got better from that fall.

After a few weeks, I got revenge and I pushed her over the side walk. I grabbed her hair and smashed her in the ground untill her face was all bloody. She was taken to hospital. I ended up at the offices, got suspended, and we learned our lesson.

Writing Sample September 2012

on Oct 1, 2012

Autumn in Provo

If you are living in Provo and you have never seen the autumn, you should go to the Bridal Veil Falls located near Provo Canyon. Because it is nearby Provo, it is easy to hike and the view of the waterfall from there is unique.

Bridal Veil Falls is a waterfall and its name is due because it has the shape of a bridal veil. It is located in the south of Provo Canyon and you just need thirty minutes or less by car to reach it from Provo.

From the very beginning of the trip you can see the colorful characteristic of the autumn in Provo Canyon and if you open the window of your car you can feel the breezy air. When you arrive at the bottom of the waterfall you can see its majesty. From there you can see the middle of the waterfall is not so far. Then you can’t wait to hike because it is very close and safe. While you are hiking you can see different kinds of leaves and their beautiful colors. Another thing that you would love about the fall is the crisp of the leaves that you find on the path. You couldn’t resist the temptation of crisping leaves as you find them

When you reach the middle of the waterfall you can feel the strength of the cold and transparent water. You would want to swim in it but when you feel the chill of the sparkling water you realize that it wouldn’t be a good idea if you aren’t used to resisting low temperatures. You can enjoy the amazing view of the canyon with the different kinds of colorful trees.

I recommend visiting Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon because it has all the necessary things to feel comfortable and enjoy this amazing season. Bridal Veil Falls is visited by many people because it is close to the town, they views are beautiful and it is not a difficult hike.

-Henry Ochoa

Writing Sample September 2012

on Sep 28, 2012

A Long Walk to Water

Based on a true Story

A little boy 11 years old, his life was perfect until the war of Southern Sudan, 1985.

His name was Salva, his journey across Africa to Ethiopia and then to Kenya, took many years. Salva was very lucky because he was able to go to school, he could not attend the all year, due his family during the dry season moved away from their Village. Salva father was a successful business man; Salva had three brothers and two sisters. One day Salva was in the school, the teacher stopped talk in the class, they heard a gunfire from the windows, everybody down the teacher shouted the gunfire stop, but when they looked for the windows people were shouting and running. The teacher said “go quickly, all of you” but not go home, go in to the bush.

The war had started two years early, but Salva not understand mush about it. But he knew that the rebels from the Southern part of the Sudan were fighting against the Government, most people who lived in the North were Muslim and the Government wanted all of Sudan to become a Muslin Country. But the people in the South were different religions and did not want to be forced to practice Islan. When the teacher said everyone go Salva go to the door. Everyone was running and them he running too as hard as he could. Later in the day he ask many questions himself, Where we are going?, where is my family? When will see them again? . At the night the group found a barn which spend can spend the night. In the next morning when Salva open his eyes, no one eslse was in the barn, they had left him, hi was alone again because he was only child.

Salva thinking what will I do now, the sky was hazy from the smoke of hte bombs, he still walking and a few days he found another group and he ask them can I go with you, I’m alone: son of them said no he is child, he willl slow us down, and another mouth to feed. One women in the group finally said take him with us. Walking every day to unknown place, no food no water.

The group go a bigger with each passing day, Salva walking every night around the group try to find someone from his family, one day hi fond one boy the same ages 11 years old Marial they walking together for several days and Salva ask Marial, if he knows where we going and he said Ethiopia, and Salva said noooo if I go to another Country my family never find me, they still walking together for a months, another day in the morning Salva found his uncle the youngest brother of Salva father. They talk each other for long periods and enjoy walking Marial Salva and ancle, but one night everyone was so tired and everybody slept where they sat down.. In the next morning Marial was gone, his desapperance could mean only a lion had been hungry enough to take Marial. Salva suffer so much for his friend, and them continue walking with uncle for three more months.

Another morning other group appear and they took uncle, killed and buied him. Salva didn’t know how survive Marial gone his uncle gone probabl=ble his family gone, how can I go without them?. Finally the group arrive to Ethiopia we fond camp and work there for around 6 years. Days later they closed the camp and them they had to leave Ethiopia., the soldiers chasing us toward the river, they force us to cross the river, the river has to many Crocodiles. We loosed a lot of people in the river. After that they walking to Kenya, Salva was the lieder of the group now and the group was most young boys 16 and 17 years old. Salva encourage the group one step a time… one day a time more thantuelve hundred boys arrive safely to Kenya. It took a year and half.

Finally through the internet Salva find out his father was in the Hospital, in Sudan in stomach surgery, he travel there and meet his father, and his father said her mother en 2 sisters alive.

-Esther Pena

Holiday Memories 2012

on Sep 5, 2012

Everyone has their own special remembrances of the holidays: family gatherings and traditions, special gifts given or received, favorite holiday stories, songs, or TV specials, and more. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’d like to hear about some of your most treasured holiday memories (these memories can be about any holiday or favorite winter memory—building a first snowman, first snowfall, sledding, etc.). Feel free to answer some or all of the holiday questions below:

Question 1:      What is your favorite holiday memory?

Question 2:      What holiday tradition do you like the most?

Question 3:      What is your favorite holiday story, movie, and/or book?

Question 4:      Which holiday song do you like best?

Question 5:      What is your favorite holiday recipe? Are there any special family recipes that have been handed down through the years?

Question 6:      How do you usually spend the holidays? What would be your ideal way to spend the holidays?

Question 7:      When do you usually start shopping for the holidays? Do you do it early or wait until the last minute?

Question 8:      What is the best toy or present you ever received during the holidays?

Question 9:      What is on your wish list this year?

Question 10:    What do you feel is the true meaning of the holiday season?

You may relate your feelings through poetry or prose. Each student and tutor is welcome to submit a memory. Please include your name on your submission. The booklet of “Holiday Memories” will be distributed at the Project Read Holiday Party on Thursday, 6 December 2012. Please submit your writing to the Project Read office by Thursday, 29 November 2012 to be included in the booklet.

Writing Sample August 2012

on Aug 27, 2012

Last Tuesday, Celeste and Alicia were going to California for skating camp, so I needed to drop them off at Salt Lake Airport by at least 5:30 a.m. for their 6:30 flight.

I had been worried about Celeste for the whole week because it was going to be her first trip without me. As time passed, I was getting nervous so I couldn’t sleep well Monday night.

I woke up at 3:00 and was ready to go to Alicia’s home to pick her up. I had to hurry but I tried to delay so that Celeste could have more sleep. Finally I woke her up and she got dressed quickly. Even though she was still half asleep, she was excited about going to California.

While I was driving on the freeway, there were a lot more cars than I thought there would be so I couldn’t drive quickly. By this time I was getting nervous about being late. When I got to the parking lot, I put my credit card in the machine so the parking lot gate would open but I failed on the first try. When I pulled my credit card, the parking lot arm was still down. I had to try again and it worked. I was getting more and more nervous because it was 5:45. I decided to drop them off in front of the door so Alicia and Celeste could  rush to check in while I was parking.

I stopped the car in front of the door to the airport and turned on the left signal. I tried to get out so I could help unload their suitcases from the back of my car. After Alicia got out, I got out too. However, Celeste was still in the car and I was distraught to realize that the car was still moving forward. In a split second, I realized that I hadn’t put the gear in park. I tried to stop it but I couldn’t think well. I kept accidentally pulling the signal stick instead of the gear shift stick. After a few tries, I found the gear so I put it in park. Celeste stood up simultaneously and turned the key off. The car stopped. She didn’t look nervous but my heart was pounding.

I unloaded the suitcases and Alicia and Celeste dashed to the door. After parking, I ran to them. I saw a lot of people but the Southwest counter where Alicia and Celeste were was okay. Alicia tried to print the tickets out but the computer was frozen. We realized that it was the wrong place. We needed Jet Blue, not Southwest.

By the time we finished checking in, it was about 6:00. The airplane would leave in 30 minutes. We dashed to security but there was a super-long line which was four times longer than what I have usually seen. I believed that it would be impossible to get on the plane in time so I suggested that Alicia should ask someone to butt in. She did it. She looked around and found a big group of missionaries. They reluctantly said yes.

After Alicia and Celeste were close to the security gate, I came back to my car and checked to make sure I hadn’t hit anything earlier. There was no problme. It was a big relief.

Alicia and Celeste made it and I got home safely. It was a long, long morning.

-Yangsoon Park

A Flood in Our Condominium

on Aug 29, 2012

Juan Acosta Writing Sample August 2012

A couple of weeks ago we had a flood in our apartment.  A water line to the toilet tank broke.  For about an hour, water went to the rooms and also on to a neighbor’s storage area below us.  My wife frantically tried to turn off the water and finally succeeded.

My wife called me at work, and I came home as fast as I could.  I vacuumed up as much water as I could so the water wouldn’t damage floor, walls, or the ceiling below.

We called the insurance company and a disaster company.  We spent a couple of days with the in-laws and a week in a hotel while the disaster company worked on our condominium.  Finally we moved back in and put everything back in order.

Eddie Ferris Writing Sample July 2012

on Aug 1, 2012

My thougts on into the wood

My les favert person in this story was the wolf becues how creepy he was like how he was fowoling he a was wanting to ete her

My faverit person this story was the baker he indord so much yet he did not Los his humanity and how he saved littil red and her gradmom from the creepy wolf and how he slod the beens to Jake for the cow and how him and his wife rguod sometimes and woud make up

Juan Acosta Writing Sample July 2012

on Aug 1, 2012

Trip to Idaho

The Saturday and Sunday before 4th of July we went to visit my sister in Idaho. Her family lives on a farm far away from towns. They were happy to have visitors. We talked and ate meals we especially enjoyed her tortillas.

The weather was hot so we went to a park in Dietrich for the kids to play while we enjoyed the shade. We tried to get ice cream for about 45 minutes. We finally got some at WalMart in Jerome.

It was nice to see them but time went by fast and we had to come home.

Juan Acosta Writing Sample June 2012

on Jun 28, 2012

Several weeks ago my two nephews were hit by a car while riding a bicycle. One was nearly killed. To avoid such accidents, both drivers and cyclists should do several things.

First of all drivers should be aware of pedestrians and people on bikes, especially kids on bikes. Drivers might allow extra space for kids. Watch the speed limit, and be extra careful at night.

Kids on bikes should wear their helmets, and bright clothing. Watch for traffic. Ride only in designated areas to avoid accidents.

Both drivers and bikers have a right to be on the road but both need to be aware of each other and work together to avoid accidents.

Oralia Moreno Writing Sample June 2012

on Jun 25, 2012

Dear Mr. David Smith

I would like to introduce my self I am Oralia Moreno and I would like to talk about my jobs experience I have throughout my life

My first one was sales.

When I was a kid I used to sell fish. My dad was a fisherman for a living.

My second business was catering fast food. My husband and I used to owned a catering truck, and I was the cook. We used to go to the factories and sell lunches to the people.

My last business was a mobile shop. There were men, womens, and kids cloths, etc.

Overall, after having all those little businesses, I strongly believe that I can manage a big store, becouse I have alot experience with the small business

Nicolas Mandujano Writing Samples–April 2012

on May 17, 2012

Sample 1

When I was about 13 years old, I started to go to the water park two or three times a week, because I was a fat boy and my P.E. teacher gave me some suggestions to loss weight and get some muscles.

One of those days, went early in Sunday, after three or four hours, (about noon) the pool was full. Then three guys came to the diving pool where I was. They were extremelly drunk.

I always liked to be in the deepest area, close to the diving board and 18 feet platform.

Then, one of them went to the platform because their friends challenged him to dive, but he fell horizontally on his belly.

I laughted automatically, and his friends came to me screaming to me;

-Go up immediatelly! If not, we kill you!

I was a kid and felt so scared, but did my best to show calm and security. Went directly to the platform and saw them smiling.

Put my hands together in front of me and closed my eyes. (Forgot to say that it was my first time on a platform)

Then jumped strongly still closed eyes, to fell over my belly worst than the other guy.

I felt my belly hottest than ever and swam to the opposite side under the water.

Since that time, I trained to dive correctly.


Sample 2

Ixtaccihuatl y Popocatepetl: A love story at the pre-Hispanic Mexico

At the Valley of Mexico a few centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Aztecs was the dominant tribe in central Mexico.

Obvious! All the neighbor tribes was obliged to pay tribute to the most powerful tribe.

Finally, the chief of Tlaxcaltecas, called together all his generals and command them to fight the Aztecs.

The most brave warrior was Popocatepetl, who was in love of Ixtaccihuatl.

Ixtaccihuatl was the princess and was in love of Popocatepetl also.

The Caciqe accepted Popocatepetl to marry Ixtaccihuatl if he came back victorious from war.

They went to wage war and the brave Popocatepetl, in love of the princess and full of hope won all the battles.

Among the other generals, there was Citlaltepetl, a wicked man who sent a messenger to Ixtaccihuatl notifying that Popocatepetl was dead in battle.

Ixtaccihuatl wept intensively at the edge of madness.

The princess finaly fall sick and passed away pronouncing the name of Popocatepetl at last.

Popocatepetl returned triumphant, but when the chief told him about the tragedy, fell in deep insanity.

Suddenly Popocatepetl sent 20,000 of his soldiers to pile up the rocks and soil of ten mountains to build a palace to preserve the beloved cadaver.

When the mausoleum was ready, Popocatepetl  carried Ixtaccihuatl to the summit to cry for her by oneself.

Finally Popocatepetl decided to dead to find her in the world of dead.

Therefore; the noble warrior died close to her with a torch in his hand.

Across the time the dust and snow covered the lovers, creating the mountains that adorn the Valley of Mexico in the present days.

Popocatepetl still have fire in his heart because of the love of Ixtaccihuatl. That;’s why sometimes the volcano roars and throws smoke.

The untruthful who caused that tragedy, fled far frome the lovers, and afterward, when he died, the snow covered the body too and became “The Citlaltepetl” and from the distance contemplates the eternal lovers whom never will be separated.

Ixtaccihuatl = white woman

Popocatepetl = smoky mountain

Citlaltepetl = mountain of the star

Juan Acosta Writing Samples–April 2012

on Apr 18, 2012

Sample 1:

Owning your own home is a good idea for three reasons.

Money pay out in rent is last. However, monthly house payments add up in equity, or how much of a house you own. This affects selling the house.

If you’re renting a house you can’t paint it or decorate it anyway you want. If own your own home, you can.

A landlord will be too slow to fix things, but you can repair your things or hire somebody.

So owning your own home has many advantages.

Sample 2:

I am doing many good things for my health. I don’t drink much soda. I try to eat fruits and vegetables, and others things that are good for me. I get exercise through physical labor at work.

There are things I need to improve. I need to drink more water each day. I need to get to bed earlier to get more sleep.

Even thought I’m doin several things to keep healthy, there are a few things I still need to work on.

Sample 3:

When I was in 6th grade, a kid hit me in the back of my head with a popsicle.

I hit the boy that I thought was guilty, but he said he didn’t do it. Hitting him broke some bones in my hand.

And then everybody thought my hand was ok, but I couldn’t use it. So it healed wrong.

Today however my hand works ok.

Oralia Moreno Writing Samples–April

on Apr 18, 2012

These samples were written in response to articles she read in her tutoring manuals.

Sample 1:

Today I worked on an assembly line doing the dash board. I don’t like it because it is boring. I’d rather be driving the car. What I don’t like. Is building the cars.

Sample 2:

Insomnia
It’s a big problem nowdays for society. If you don’t have enough sleep your physically, mentally tired all the time and you can’t function. It could also lead to death so it is very important to take it very seriously because that could kill you and your family will suffer without you

Last Days

on Apr 9, 2012

By Cristina Luna

Tomorrow is the last class at the Provo Library; I can´t believe how the time has passed, and I feel that I´m closing stages. The classes at the ELC had finished some weeks ago, the General Conference is over and the classes at the Library are going to finish tomorrow. So these things show me that is time to go back to Chile, and that makes me feel happy but sad at the same time.

I remember my first time at the Library, I was so excited to be part of the Read Project and after passing some tests the people in charge of the program began looking for someone, who would be my tutor. I never imagine how important it would be this person during my time in the U.S.

One day Sue, the director of Read Project, sent me an email, telling me that she had found a perfect tutor for me, and I had to go to meet her the next Monday.

I went that day, and I met Linda, my tutor. My first impression was she must love teaching, because she uses her leisure time helping other people.

We talk about what I wanted to learn, and then we decided to read a book. The first book was “The Giver, then we continue with “A long walk to water”, “Holes”, and finally “Three cups of tea”.

At the same time she began to help me to prepare the Toefl, so every session, we reviewed the exercises, we read the book together, and we talked about our impressions of the book; of course we also talked a lot about our experiences and daily activities, and when the class ended, she always gave me a ride till the ELC; she began to be a friend to me.

The time began to pass by. The books were finished, the exercises too, and now the classes are almost over.

I will never forget this nice person, Linda, who was a big bless for me, every class I could learn a lot, and also enjoyed the time with her.

Linda thanks for your time, disposition, and patience, thank you for your love!

Reducing Fat

on Mar 7, 2012

Writing Sample by Cassandra Hood

there is many ways to reduce fat in your diet. when you prepare for dinner and you want to eat healthier you have to reduce the fat in your meal. when you have excess fat in your meal it can make you gain weight. some people use margarine instead of butter in their meals and others use butter instead of margarine.

Las Vegas Trip

on Feb 6, 2012

By Hyun Jin

This was the first time I traveled with my children around America. I especially chose Las Vegas because it is not far away from Utah. Before our travelling, the weather was very terrible but I couldn’t give up. When I was driving to Vegas, the weather changed again and again. There was a lot of rain and strong wind but finally it became sunny. Bright weather gave us good feelings so I enjoyed driving with happiness. Las Vegas has two different faces. During the daytime, it is very normal like Salt Lake but when night comes Las Vegas changes a lot. There are some reasons why the nighttime is amazing. Each hotel becomes bright as the lights turn on and the Las Vegas buildings are bright with different decorations such as stars in the sky. Also, there are many interesting shows and most of them are free in front of the hotels. We looked up much information before the trip so we could watch wonderful shows without money. When my children laughed loudly, I felt very happy. After that, we wanted to go to a Korean restaurant but I lost my way. My children wanted to go to another restaurant but I never gave up because it is a very delicious restaurant in Vegas. Finally we found the Korean place and we enjoyed dinner. Las Vegas is the best gambling city but I didn’t want to gamble because it is not a good education for my children. After travelling, we have a closer relationship now.

Tips for Doing Well in an Interview

on Apr 9, 2012

By Ellie Wong

Prepare an application form and a resume with you. Make a good impression by dressing nicely and properly. Arrive early. That will have time to take a deep breath, to check your hair and to straighten your clothes. Show the interviewer that you’re confident and excited about the job. Answer politely and completely. Tell about the jobs you have had in positive terms. Tell what you liked and how what you learned will help you in this new job. Never say bad about a previous employer.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2012 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.


Grand Prize—Life Changes: Jenuely Pedron
Tutor: Jodi Nicholas

The Superpowers of a Bad English Student

How would you feel if after a hard and long time trying to learn a new language, you find a pill that solves all your problems? That happened to me.

When I was a child I lived in South America, and I had a dream. I would like to live in Provo, Utah to learn English and study a master program at BYU, so I wrote my dream in my journal and put it away. Seven years after, I began high school. I was excited because I was going to learn English for first time. I met my new teacher who was fat, short, and seemed a little lazy man. He began the class teaching the famous verb “To Be.” It was a little confusing for me, but I was eager to see the other classes. Four years after I was frustrated because he had taught the verb “To Be” every year, over and over again. In addition, I began to hate English because it was so annoying and hard. Then a cold morning the teacher disappeared, and a new teacher came. The new teacher was the opposite the first one, both physically and intellectually. He was very strict in class. Because I was in my last year high school, he began to teach advanced English. This was crazy because no one in my class could understand. We knew just one thing about English: the verb “To Be.” Only one guy in the class was able to understand and get good grades. All my life, I thought this guy had some kind of special power because he could understand everything in an amazing way. In the end, I could pass English with a “C” and graduated from high school. But my dream began to disappear.

When I started college, I swore to myself that I would not take another English class. But two years after, I was in love, and my boyfriend asked me to learn. I took the class, but that experience was crazy again. I could not understand anything. I was a good student in all my other courses, but English class was harder than the rest. I was able to get just a “C” on that class again. As a result, I was not able to receive an honor award when I finished my major. I was very close, but the “C” affected my GPA, so this was another reason to hate English again.

I married to my boyfriend, and we decided to come to Utah (My dream was becoming real). Before moving, I took more English classes, but again I could not understand. I cried many times because I felt brainless. I arrived to Provo five month ago and, I began to take classes of English as a second language. My biggest challenge was the speaking part. One guy in my class always laughed at me because I could not pronounce the words very well. He made me feel sad and stupid, so I decided to go to the Provo Library to find help. I was in one of the hallways trying to find a book (or a miracle). Suddenly, a mysterious door started to open very quietly in a corner. Nobody else saw the door, but I saw it. I was very curious, so I went to check it out. I walked silently towards the door and pushed it slowly. Behind the door was a dark room, it was empty except for an old table sitting in the back. On top of the table was a jar with a pill inside and a label on the top that said “take me.” I felt that I was in Alice’s Wonderland. I was very frustrated about my English, so I just took it.

I did not feel anything, so I went to my house. The next morning, I thought the room and the pill was just a dream, although it felt very real. But it was time to return to my sad reality. When I arrived to class, I began to feel a little dizzy. I asked for permission to step out and get some water. Suddenly, I felt something strange in all my body and more particularly on my mind. I waited a few minutes until to feel calm again. Finally, I came back to class. But now my mind burst with intelligence! I began to see all the verbs, grammar structures, phonics, and sounds in my mind. I could not believe it. I thought “I must be dreaming again?” Then the teacher asked a question; I raised my hand and answered brilliantly. Did I just do that? I asked myself. Everyone in my class was surprised. They could not believe it. Then on the next class, the same thing happened again. When my classes ended I thought, “it must have been the pill! It wasn’t a dream.” I felt like I had a Superpower now. It was a miracle.

A few days before I took the pill, I discovered that some of my partners had superpowers as well (How did I discover it? That’s another story). I wanted to be like them. However that wish quickly vanished, I just had to accept I didn’t have any super power. But then, everything changed when I took the pill. My power was not only related to knowing English; I could also absorb my partners’ abilities and skills just by touching them. It was wonderful, my wish came true. Then I began to take their powers very carefully: one guy had a strong memory, another good hearing like a dog, another guy could read faster than anyone else and remember everything after he read, and one partner had abilities to speak better than any politician in the world, etc. When I finished taking each power, I began to be smarter than everyone else, but at the same time I didn’t want to make my companions feel bad.  I began to help people who had troubles like I did. Every time I helped someone with problems learning English, I felt stronger. Helping was the most important thing that I learned. Thanks to this superpower I could accomplish my dream, but the most meaningful thing for me was that I was able to help other students fulfill their dreams as well.

I want to be honest with you. My bad stories at the beginning were true. Superpower is only a wish that I have. I am studying English one more time. My experience learning English has been so difficult in anytime especially when I was learning in my country. I needed to study harder than everyone else, and I still do if I want to have good grades. Therefore, I had to come to the Library to find some extra help because my intensive regular classes are not enough. When I came to the Library, I found “Project Read.” It was funny because it represented a pill for me! I have been in the program for only two months.  I am grateful for “Project Read.” It has been useful in my English improvement. Now I am dedicating 25 to 30 hours a week to studying English. It is a hard work, but I am not going to rest until I accomplish my goal of speaking English perfectly.


Second Place—Life Changes: Esther Rocio Pena
Tutor: Jacob Newman

Project Read Changed My Life

Project Read absolutely has changed my life. I feel more confident and my pronunciation has improved a lot. I do my homework at home and it helps me too. Also I write more correctly now than before I began the program. I’m so happy to have this opportunity to be part of this program. I’m very grateful for the nice people here and my wonderful tutor. He is fantastic. He has a positive attitude to encourage me to learn better every day.


 

Third Place—Life Changes: Liliana Hartman
Tutor: Kristen Hutchings

Lili’s Story: The Beginning

When I first came to USA I did not speak English, but with the time I found a reading program at Provo City Library and I meet Kristen my tutor which is a blessing to me. She help me two times a week one and a half hours Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is wonderful.
We have tutoring for 7 months now, and Kristen helps me to do one of my dreams. We started writing a book about my life. When I lived in Mexico I was a victim of domestic violence. So I move to USA with my two kids and I struggle a lot especially with the language and to be in another country. But I would like to thank first heavenly father and to this country and the wonderful people  who help me  a lot and every opportunity they give me.


Honorable Mention—Life Changes: Oralia Moreno
Tutor: Shanesha Legardy

How Project Read Changed My Life

Bring in the reading project is really changing my life. I am learning how to read properly. I am feeling more secure in my person and not feeling uncomfortable. Being in the project reading will help me finish my Ged and continue my education to reach my goals in life. Overall I think this is a good project, and I feel very proud of myself.


Grand Prize—Other: Nicolás Mandujano
Tutor: Kallie Astle

The Quest

Once upon a time, in a country far away that no one remembers …

There lived a man who was obsessed with finding God. He spent all the imaginable resources trying to find his purpose.

He went to the farthest desert, so no one interrupted his meditation, and after some days, he returned, disappointed, to unload his frustration on his wife and children.

Then it occurred to him that he could find Him in the woods, and went into the woods for a few days, getting the same result.

Time after, he was sure to find Him near the sea, so he went to sit on a rock by the sea. And he concentrated as much as he could, but this time he could not find Him.

Then he made another attempt, climbing the highest mountain in his country, thinking that the closer he was to the clouds, he was certain to find God, but the result was the same.

Disappointed, he spent some yeas of his life pouring his bitterness against his family. Until one day, he had the brilliant idea of building a temple, for God to come and live in it, and this way he could talk to Him.

He started to work immediately, and as he had in mind a magnificent building, he ordered his wife and children to work from sun-up to sun-down, requiring them to do more than they could, as if they were slaves.

Finally, after a few years, the temple was completed. He used the best materials, no matter that he had spent most of his fortune, as he was very rich. But nothing happened … God did not come.

However, every morning he was in the temple to see if God had finally come. And he forced his wife and children to come with him, to see how God himself thanked him for the magnificent work.

And so it was many days, which were made years, and finally told to his family: “Bring axes and hammers! If God does not come, we all tear down the temple.”

Then they arrived, and after some hours of waiting, when he lifted the ax to strike the altar, he heard a voice in his heart saying: “Do not look for me in the desert, or in the woods, neither in the sea, nor on the mountains. It is true that I am everywhere, but in your case, you are going to find me here: Turn and look! I am there! In this family that I have given you.”

Then he dropped the ax and walked to his family. And he realized that indeed, God was there, in this beautiful gift He had given.

From that day, he became the most respectful and loving family man. And every day, he felt the voice and the presence of God saying: “I’ll be with you ‘til the end of the days.”


Second Place—Other: Wilmer Sandoval
Tutor: Peter Mortenson

Machu Pichu a Beautiful Place to Visit

In the world there are a lot of beautiful places to visit on your vacations, but Machu Pichu is one of the best sites to experience different sensations and you will feel as happy as a child in the middle of a big candy store, because those ancient ruins are magic, and it is a beautiful place to relax and forget for a small time all your problems and leave the stress of the city life. Machu Pichu is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world for its ancient ruins, but if you want to have a whole experience, you need to arrive there  by train to enjoy of the spectacular views of the Sacred Valley and test the Peruvian food during the trip.

One month before arriving to the U.S., I took a trip to Peru to visit different interesting places, because some friends recommended me to visit Machu Pichu; one of  their pieces of advice was that I would really enjoy the trip if  I arrived there by train, because I would experience a lot of different  sensations and they were right. When I arrived at Cuzco and took the train, I was very excited because I had never been in a train before . But this train was very special because its ceiling had a glass dome. In other words you have yourself a window to see the whole world. That sensation is very special because you feel like a hawk; you have a whole view of the sky and the mountains and you will enjoy the magic trip across the  Incas’ Sacred Valley. All that adding to the soft and beautiful music creates a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere.

Perhaps the most exciting sensation will be when you see the ancient Incas’ ruins. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place; you can walk for hours and lose track of time. But the best experience is when you are standing on top of the mountain because you will feel as if you are on top of the world. The view is amazing; you can see the river in the middle of the mountains and it like a snake moving to Machu Pichu. The wind is soft and its sound is like an ancient people talking to you so close to your ear, and the temperature is perfect neither hot nor cold. The weather there is so strange, because it changes all the time and it is part of the magic of that mystical place. There you can feel the soft grass in your feet and you can smell the pure and fresh air. You can also forget all your problems because the atmosphere there is perfect for relaxing and forgetting the city stress, and the quantity of sensations that that natural site provides is almost indescribable.

Finally, another thing that you can enjoy during your trip to Machu Pichu is the food, because the Peruvian food is considered one of the best around the world. After finishing your visit to the Incas’ Ruins, you can try different and delicious desserts, meals, fishes and vegetables. I’m sure that when you arrive to Aguas Calientes your nose will be crazy because of the quantity of different and delicious food smells. The desserts are so soft, the drinks are so fresh and different than you have tried before, and the meal and the fish are fresh, soft, healthy, and delicious.

Summarizing, the nature and perfect atmosphere of Machu Pichu give you a sensation of freedom that you won’t forget, because you will experience different kinds of feelings. In addition, the trip by train is peaceful and confortable, the ancient Incas’ ruins are amazing and the food is delicious. For all those reasons, if you are planning to take a trip on your next vacation, maybe Machu Pichu is one of the best places to visit.


Third Place—Other: Larry Robinson
Tutor: Bryan Bennett

I Want to be an Auto Tech

I am working on getting my G.E.D. I am learning to read better and I am learning to spell better. Soon I will be learning to do G.E.D math. After I get my G.E.D, I will go to a trade school to learn about automobiles, after which I will work in a garage. I hope to work nights so I can learn all about auto bodies. After I learn to repair auto bodies, I can bring the garage more business. Fixing automobiles will be my job.

Then I want to go back to school to learn all about computers so I can be a computer tech. After that I want to go back to school to become an electronic technician so I can save money on fixing computers. I do not want computer repair or electronics to be my job. I only want to learn them to save money for my family & friends by way of replacing a $5 part instead of replacing a $200 mother board.  Learning  computers and electronics will also save my auto customers money on some auto repairs like fixing the computers in automobiles instead of replacing the computer.

Some day I want to own my own garage. Then I can earn some good money. I will repair any and all problems with any and all  automobiles, yes even diesel automobiles.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2011 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.

Book Review: Mandy (by Julie Andrews)

on Aug 25, 2011

By Ana Pineda

Summer

In summer, orphanage children on a day trip to the sea, but Mandy didn’t go. She prefered to borrow the Jack’s shears and to cut the lawn, she sliced at the branch even harder. But the shears wouldn’t cut. She tryed again and she had an accident the shears was broken. Matron spoke that she will buy another pair of shears for Jake.

Autumn

Matron punishmented her to a week, she can’t go out of the orphanage, rained on, the rain would help her flowers.

The weather remained cold, twas November. She was an important surprise one day she visited the cottagge and found a note signed an admirer, she would meet him! but her cold was worse. Dr. Mattews examineded her and said stay in bed, rest. It was imposible, Mandy had a think to go the cottagge and meet her admirer. Mandy desobei and went to the cottagge. It was blowing hard outside, the cold air penetrated her clothing, she climbed the wall, the rain obscured everything. Mandy was wet, to get dry with a courtain and then prendio la chimnera, she felt sick. In the orphanage Matron was worry, Mandy was frowning. Sue told all around the cottagge. Dr. Matthews called Mr. Fitzgerald. He had buy the cottage and needed his helped. Bill found her and took carefully in his arms. They came back home.

Winter

Mandy stayed with the Cranton family, she was sick but it was the first time she was happy. Bill, Ann and Jonathan loved her. Matron said she collected Mandy the day after Christmas. For Christmas grown ups drank wine and hot chocolate for the children.

Mandy remembered her other Christmas at the orphanage. The Cranton gave her a red dress, a pair of red shoes and also a tiny gold ring. Jonathan gave her a brown bear.

After dinner Ann played cards and all they sung. In the day, she would not show her sadness to anyone. Matron picked her up and came back orphanage. Days run on. The Cranton missed Mandy. Finally Mandy was adopted by they.

My Wonderful Family

on Aug 25, 2011

By Saul Villalobos Perez

When I got married, twenty five years before, I did not have idea how hard should be raising a wonderful family. Of course, I found a beautiful and marvelous woman who is my friend and wife. By the time, I knew her when I was a missionary, and I had the chance to bautism her and her family too. Anyway, after twenty five years, two beautiful girls and two handsome boy have grown in our family. Even thought our first daughter passed away when she was only five months, we have always considered her as a part of our family. That is the reason because we always say that we have four children. So three years before my wife and I made the decision and assumed all the risks to come to study at BYU, I got a F1 visa and all my family were under my visa as a F2.

Since 2010 our second daughter is serving her mission at McAllan Texas and nowadays I have had to gather all her document, application school and all her stuff to submit all these information into the Immigration Department of US to chance her status from R1 to F1 one more time. Also, our oldest boy is very close to go into his mission on August 31st. Hence, my wife and I have kept so busy buyin all his clothes, personal articles and everything that he will need at his mission. Finally you know what? The last week we received a bad news about our youngest boy who have pretended to enroll at the ELC. They did not bring the whole and correct information about changing his status and now he is in trouble gettin a school for the next fall semester. My wife and I have called up a friend looking for some help but we didn’t. We used to recive many help from our friend but at this time we don’t anymore. We know that we must do better effort over the next day to get a change of status of our son from F2 to F1.

Keeping a wonderful family into a legal status in this great country has been a huge challange. I have tried meticulously to follow all their policies, rules and everything that I can to help my family raising, studing and growing the best that they can. Affortunately, I belive in God, and feel very comfortable at the end everything will work great for me and my wonderful family.

How Project Read Changed My Life

on Jul 27, 2011

By Humera Jamshed

My name is Humera. I am from Pakistan. I have been married for 26 years before and I have three children, one daughter and two sons. I live in Provo with my older son for his Education, but my other family is in Pakistan. I spent all my life as a house wife. My husband never allowed me to have jobs but when I came to U.S. . It was all of a sudden chang of my life. The most important challenge was, “How to learn English without spending mony?” All ESL programs were out of my reach at that time. Project Read helped me to solve my problems. It was wonderful for me. I learned English without any problem. Qualified teachers helped me to read and write. Now I feel more confident and progressive in English. I also joined other Project Read programs that not only helped me but for all other people. I learned how to made a resume and prepare a good interview for jobs. I am greatful for Project Read because only this project change my life. Now I can see life in a refreshing way and I also improved the woman inside me.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2011 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.


Grand Prize—Fiction: Candace Hood
Tutor: Lynn Dean

The Baby Giraffe and the Mother

Once upon a time, a baby giraffe was born. The baby giraffe was born in Africa, and the mother giraffe gave birth to a baby girl named Glendy; the Mother was good to her baby.

The two giraffes were both tall but Glendy was a little shorter. One giraffe, Glendy, was brown and white, and the other, her Mother, was brown and beige with a little white also. The spots were big and multi-square shaped.

One day the Mother and her daughter named Glendy were eating leaves off the tree. Then Glendy decided she wanted to play and explore. But she went too far away from her Mother and that got Glendy worried because she couldn’t see her Mother anywhere in sight! She was scared! She thought she would never see her Mother again. She started looking everywhere.

When Glendy started hunting for her Mom and yet couldn’t find her, she thought about what she could do next. She began to use a crying call to see if her Mother could find her instead.

Finally Glendy’s Mom actually heard Glendy’s cry, and she went looking for her daughter. Later Glendy was found by her Mother after thirty minutes of the cry.

After Glendy and her Mother were reunited they went back to where they were in the beginning.

So when you are a baby and you are in a new place and want to explore, make sure that you are not far from people that you know.

A few years later Glendy got a little older and had girafflings of her own. She made sure that her babies stayed with her at all times. So they ended up to be a one big cheerful family. And they live happily ever after.

THE END


Second Place—Fiction: Zita Hernandez
Tutor: Rachel Smith

Magdalena Visits Mom at Work

Magdalena, a 6 year old, lived in a village where all the neighbors knew each other, and almost everything was near: the bakery, a grocery store, a bank, a small theater, and, of course, the one most visited by Magdalena, the place where her mother cut hair, “Hair Stylist Jenny”. Her mother,

Lauren, worked there in the evenings and, in the morning, she took care of three of her children, the twins, 1 and half years old, and little Sofia, 3 years old, while Magdalena, Ruben, 12, and Karina, 15, were at school.

Lauren had graduated from a beauty school 3 years ago and, because her husband’s addiction to alcohol, she decided to work and support the family by herself.

Magdalena, after coming home from school with a pony tail fixed on the left side of her head, worked as hard as she could to help her older siblings take care of the younger siblings while their mom was absent, but she struggled to concentrate, she missed her mom.

This was a time when the older siblings learned to be responsible, because their father spent several hours out of the home. The neighbors had seen him with friends, drinking beer, while the older children took care of the family.

Magdalena’s visits to her mother’s work were not welcomed by the boss, Ms. Jenny, a serious woman who had taken care of her family in the early days. Now she was all alone, because all of her kids had gotten married, left home, and moved to different states or even countries. This was probably some of the reason why she was not really happy. Because she was not welcome in the shop, Magdalena eyes peered through the big large glass door standing in the doorway.

“Is that your daughter again? She should be at home. It doesn’t look good to the customers that she keeps coming. It looks like she is begging for food ,” said Ms. Jenny, with a hairy finger pointing out at Magdalena.

“My daughter just wants to see me. She misses me so much Ms. Jenny,” replied Lauren.”

The girl spent several minutes looking at her mom every day. Lauren had talked to her repeatedly, that, for the sake of Ms Jenny, she should not to visit her, but Magdalena insisted on seeing her mom because it helped her focus on taking care of her family with her older siblings.

Lauren finally thought of an idea, and made an arrangement with Ms. Jenny. She would let Magdalena see her 3 times a week, but only be for 10 minutes, and Lauren would give Ms. Jenny a free haircut each month. Ms. Jenny agreed and on Mondays through Wednesdays Magdalena was allowed to watch her mom work through the large glass door.

Magdalena visited her mother for the next 10 years, three times a week, only looking for a little while, but that time served Magdalena. It strengthened the bond of love, friendship, and respect for her mother. The years passed and Magdalena became an excellent student and graduated from school of nursing. Remembering the time she watched her mom working as a child served as a model of how to work hard through the rest of her life.

 


Third Place—Fiction: Princess Ismael
Tutor: Jessie Hale

Our Old Barn

We live in this old barn in a town called Woodland. Long ago, we inherited the barn from Uncle Rick, on my husband’s side of the family. We are a family of four.

We love our new home. We are trying to work on it everyday a little bit at a time. You should see our view!

The woods, green leaves, mountaintop, and the tall trees are just perfect for our monkey family to dwell in. The kids play for hours out there. If I don’t call them in for dinner, they will never come in!

“Time for dinner, Oosi and Iris,” I say. As they come in, we eat our dinner on our table that Daddy Monkey made of our wood.

The little monkeys were raised in the woods. They know every tree, rock, branch, and flower. The kids are growing faster than our bananas in the backyard.

They have lots of friends the little deer named Chuck and three rabbits named Massey, Sassey, and Lassey. They spend lots of time together. Because we have such a big house, all the kids’ friends want to stay with us all the time.

They have so many sleepovers. Their friends always say, “We can get lost in the old house.” Some kids think it is scary and creepy.

Every year for Halloween we get to decorate our barn and win the prize as the scariest family in Woodland. It’s not that bad living in an old barn, it’s the best thing that every happened to the Monkey family.

Miss Ducky is getting married and she wants to know if she can have her wedding at our barn. I’m so surprised! “Well, let me talk to my husband,” I say to her.

When my husband arrives home from working on tables all day in the woods, I tell him, “Miss Ducky want to get married in our barn.”

He does not say anything for a minute. Then a tear comes down his little monkey eye from being so happy that she wants to get married in his uncle’s barn. Then he shouted, “Of course! Of course!”

So the next morning, I go to Miss Ducky’s house and tell her the good news. She is so happy that she gives me a huge hug.

We started decorating the old barn. We have the most beautiful banana trees in our backyard that you can see through the windows. The bananas are hanging together so that they look like they are dancing together.

It is a happy day for everyone, especially Miss Ducky. Everything is falling into place today.

We love our home so very much. We will not change a thing about our barn.

That’s our story about our barn.

Our home.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2011 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.

Grand Prize—Poetry: Princess Ismael
Tutor: Jessie Hale

Old Barn

I went searching for peace.

I found it here.

All by myself.

It’s nice; It’s quiet.

I can clear my mind.

About life,

kids,

work,

school.

With my hands stretched out,

I felt the darkness

until I reached the window

I tried to avoid

kids,

work,

school.

With my hands stretched out

I felt the darkness

until I reached the window

I tried to avoid

the little sound of

creatures.

They kept interrupting me.

Oh, no.

Where should I go now?

Maybe inside?

Deeper and deeper

It’s dark!

I could see the stars

And I could smell my freedom.

It’s the most peaceful place

Ever and Ever

Who knew I could

Have peace here

In this

Old Barn?


Grand Prize—Other: Princess Ismael
Tutor: Jessie Hale

Utah Teacher Visits an Old House in Ukraine

This is a story of a local Utah teacher who visited an old house in Ukraine.

It was two years ago when Jessie Hale went on a trip with a small group of teachers to Ukraine. She did not know what to expect as she was on the train. The town she visited had no train station at the time, so they walked to the village. “Well, that’s a good start to a trip,” I say. Finally they saw a little boy with a horse. They stopped him, and asked to take them to the house.

Well, they paid him first, of course. They arrived to where they were going to stay, an old house in the middle of nowhere! It was so old she could hear the creaking of the floorboards every time she walked around. There were no bathroom, no power, and no beds. They slept on the floor.

There was a cave next to the old house that they explored. Jessie said, “I’ll never forget the time we spent sitting on the porch looking at the stars at night.” And she will never forget how nice the people were. There is one last thing she will never forget: the spirit of that old house.


Second Place—Other: Larry Robinson
Tutor: Bryan C. Bennett

I am a Car

Hi, my name is Larry. I am a car. I have four doors a hood and a trunk. In my trunk is a spare tire. It is a full-size tire not a donut tire. There is enough room in my trunk for groceries. Under my hood is a four cylinder engine and a three speed transmission. I am from 1962. My master has to shift me. I take him to work and home five days a week. We go shopping on weekends and we go shopping on Saturday. I have fun when my master takes me on the interstate sixty-five miles per hour. Weee! I get around 30 mpg. My master changes my oil and oil filter every 6,000 miles. He also gives me a tuneup every 6,000 miles which consists of spark plugs, spark plug wires, a rotor button, a distributor cap, a capacitor, and a fuel filter. I like high-test gasoline. I can hold 4 people in me. My master puts mystery oil in my fuel tank and engine. Mystery oil cleans and lubricates. If you want to start me, you must choke me for a little while. I have a 550 CCA lead acid battery. It is 12 volts. You can hand crank my door windows up and down. The starting key goes in my dash not like the newer cars where you put the start key in the column. I have two round headlights and two taillights and a ceiling light that turns on by opening the door. I am a little rusty. I am 49 years old. I am a Chevy. My horn button is in the center of my steering wheel. I have a pull-push light switch and a turn windshield wiper switch. I have bucket seats in the front and bench seats in the rear. My engine valves are adjustable. Nowadays I need lead substitute added to my fuel.  Well, bye for now. Wait I forgot to tell you three things. My shifter is on my steering column. I have non-power steering and non-power brakes. Bye for now.

This is a compilation of entries from the 2011 writing contest. The entries are typed exactly as they were submitted; therefore, several grammatical and/or spelling errors may exist due to the various reading levels at which some of the students function.

 


Grand Prize—Nonfiction: Luis Gutierrez
Tutor: Gail Russell

Haunted House

Hello my name is Luis and I live in south Springville, Utah, near the mountains. In the back yard we have a great field, and an old house, we call it the haunted house.

I will read what I wrote in my dairy 21 March 2011.

Today is a beautiful day, the sky is blue, a soft wind blows, the sun is shining, the humidity gives life to plants and the birds are singing, spring finally arrives after a long winter.

I can hear a noise in the haunted house, a board that is moved by the wind it makes a noise like a harmonious melody.

Children play and run in the back yard, I look out the window and admire the beauty of nature and fresh fragrance.

I reacted to a cry of my children, and ran to them to help.

“What happened?” – I ask them.

They are very scared and tell me

“We heard a ghost in the haunted house”

“There are no ghosts, the ghosts do not exist.” I answered

“-But We hear them!”

“How do you know it’s a ghost?” – I ask them

“We heard them say boboboboboooo”

“- Ok let’s see …. I hear nothing,” I say.

“- Be quiet.”< -The kids say

-Suddenly I heard a strange noise that I had never heard before something like booo Boooo. Maybe a ghost? We walk to the haunted house, I walk slowly with all my senses alert, entered the abandoned house and again I heard the same noise.

From the doorway I discover the problem, a family of raccoons, We all laugh at the same time.

When the raccoons saw us they ran out of the haunted house.

The raccoons come out scared.

I wonder who is more scared, the raccoons or us?

My children they learned a lesson, that ghosts do not exist, or do they?

 


Second Place—Nonfiction: Yangsoon Park
Tutor: Katie Poole

Memory’s Beach

I grew up by an ocean in Korea. I miss the ocean so much. I feel like it is my hometown. While I was watching the endless ocean, it made my mind refreshed or relieved. The world has been changing but the ocean is always right there. The ocean is like my mom’s arm. It is calm and peaceful. The seagulls’ swooping and screeching for food and the waves were lapping to the shore still ring in my ears.

The ocean provided many things for my family and me. For example, my mom used to pick up oysters as our food. My father who already passed away would catch fish with a net. I would pick up seaweed, crams, and crabs in the mud which was right next to the beach as my mom asked me for food.

Another example of the provision from the ocean, it was my sibling’s and my playground. It provided for my big brothers to dare to dive without any equipment. Also, on the mud, I would find a hole some bubbles in it and dig the hole by hand and catch the hole’s host. The mud made my clothes dirty, but it was so much fun. I also used to wade or swim in the ocean.

Later on, when I had my own family, we used to go a beach which was different from I went to in my childhood almost every weekend. My husband is a sucker for fishing. Also, my daughter liked holding her dad’s fishing pole while she was pretending to be a fisher. However, because of her age, she couldn’t stand motionless for such a long time. To catch fish, the fishing pole should be still.  She used to ruin her dad’s fishing.

While he was waiting for fish, my daughter and I played on the beach with sand. We would build sand castles or draw something with a stick on the sand. We also would pick up something cool and collecting such as fabulous seashells. Especially, my daughter would build buildings with the sand and seashells, so she would ask us to pick up better shaped seashells. Besides, we would chase for waves back and forth. In the summer, we used to go swimming too. When the big wave came over us, we tried to get out of the water, but sometimes it was too late, so we had to drink the super-salty water through our noses. We had so much fun on the ocean.

My daughter and I still talk about the beach. She has wonderful memories of the ocean like me.

 


Third Place—Nonfiction: Nicolas Mandujano
Tutor: Rose of Sharon Gribble

Watching Show Windows

The girl watching through the window pane, reminds me when I was a kid.

My siblings and I was so excited every time we were in front of the show windows.

Being in front of a show window, everyone had dreams or expectations about the items in the stores.

For instance, my older brother, always dreamt about electrical toys.

My sisters, about makeup, shoes and clothes.

The rest of my brothers (5) different one another, hoping for toys and candies.

About me, I always enjoyed watching musical instruments, particularly guitars and pianos, reading songbooks also.

My secret is that, I liked watching mannequins. Trying to be elegant and well dressed, and falling in love of the mannequin girls.

The most beautiful at that part of my childhood is that I lived unforgettable moments with my family.

I’d like to back in time to live these moments again.

Moreover; every time I see a kid in front of a show window, I see myself as a child.