East Palo Alto Middle School Writing Competition

December 8, 2016

Sixteen middle school students of AVID Writing Contest were commended by Dr. Hernandez, the superintendent, Board of Trustees, and Silicon Valley Youth, in East Palo Alto.

Award Ceremony
Winning memoirs are showcased in the school district.
From left to right: Ms. Annaben Kazemi, Benjamin Owens, Mr. Douglas Garriss, and Bryan Owens.
Download the presentation here:

November 3, 2016

All contest participants turned in their memoir today. Bryan made a flyer that will go to all the parents to invite them to the award ceremony. We have purchased the awards, including an iPad mini 4 and gift cards from Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and Target.

September 22, 2016

Bryan and Benjamin had a follow up meeting with Mr. Garriss and Ms. Kazemi at the district office. They discussed the details of a promotional flyer, purchasing prizes, and the award ceremony.

August 9, 2016

When school started in the fall, Bryan and Benjamin once again met with Dr. Hernandez and Ms Morales-Ellis to discuss this writing contest further. Then Bryan and Benjamin had a separate meeting with Mr. Douglas Garriss, Grades 6-8 ELA/AVID/ELD Coordinator, and Ms. Annaben Kazemi, the TK-8 Math Coordinator for the district. They were very excited about this idea which would blend well with the AVID curriculum. During the meeting, it was decided that the students would write a memoir to reflect an important moment they had experienced in their lives. The theme would be “A Moment in Time”. Mr. Garriss and Ms. Annaben Kazemi immediately wrote the Memoir Unit lessons that would go along with the writing contest into this year’s teaching plan.

June 3rd, 2016

On the last day of the school year, Bryan Owens and Benjamin Owens met with Dr. Gloria Hernandez-Goff, the superintendent of Ravenswood City School District, and Ms. Lorena Morales-Ellis, the assistant superintendent, to find out how they could help. Dr. Hernandez told them that writing is one of the most important skills that students should have, but it is unfortunately also one of the skills that students in the district lack most. She wanted help to promote the students’ interest in writing, so Bryan and Benjamin proposed to organize a writing contest to encourage the students to write well.