The Front Window of 826 Valencia

After students finish their homework at 826 Valencia’s after-school tutoring program, program staffers Jorge Eduardo Garcia and Raúl J. Alcantar engage them in writing exercises.

The young authors produce many wonderful pieces, and Mission Loc@l plans to feature a few of them each week.

The prompts for these selections focused on autumn and the Day of the Dead.

“Death of a Language,”
 an ofrenda for the altar by Mildred Dzib, age 10

Francis Scott Key Elementary

Some languages that are dying are the Native American languages, and they are dying because English, Spanish, and Chinese are taking their place in the world because of business. When you lose your language, you lose your culture. When you lose your culture, your heart dies.

“The Broken Leaf,” 
a short story by Eduardo Delgado, age 10

St. James School

A leaf called Rex has lived in a tree. He has lived there for many years, and now he is about to fall. He is really scared. A few friends want to help Rex stay in the tree, so the friends help him pull up and he stays. So now he is back in the tree for more years. Their friends are all boys. Their color is green. They play and also like to play tag.

“The Flying Kite,” 
a short story by Angelica Guzman, age 11

St. James School

One windy, autumn day, two girls named Carly and Cameron decided to make a kite so that they could fly it. There were a bunch of leaves outside, and they were colorful. There were red, orange, and yellow leaves flying everywhere. Carly and Cameron started making their kite. Once they finished their kite, they went outside and the big, beautiful kite started flying. Suddenly Cameron accidentally let go of the kite, and it flew away! The two girls started chasing the flying kite. When they couldn’t see it anymore, they looked for it on the ground. None of the girls found anything. A few hours later, Carly saw the string of the kite, which was thin and blue. After that, they saw the big, beautiful, colorful kite under a bunch of colorful leaves. In the end, Carly and Cameron went inside of Cameron’s house for a cup of tasty hot chocolate and sweet, delicious cupcakes.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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