Welcome to the second annual issue of Confluence, a publication that features writing and art from School District 197 fourth-grade students.
This year's theme is Building Bridges, One Story at a Time. Bridges are remarkable. We admire these structures for their strength, grace, reliability, and power to tie communities together.
Our stories have these same amazing qualities. When we share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we are building a bridge that has the remarkable ability to connect us with each other.
Our strength as writers is in our
By: Malaysia Thomas
Did you know the Golden Gate Bridge is not golden at all? It is actually bright red-orange! The Golden Gate Bridge has special characteristics, a long history, and is now a well known tourist landmark located in Northern California (San Francisco city).
Three special characteristics about the Golden Gate Bridge is that it is the largest suspension and the tallest suspension bridge in the world. It has wires that are strong enough for it to hold up during an earthquake. Approximately $35 million dollars were put into building the bridge.
Before the Golden Gate Bridge was built people took boats and ferries to get across the water. The bridge was built on January 5 1933 and the bridge finally opened on May 27 1937. In the middle of building the bridge on April 18 1906 at 8:12am there was an earthquake.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a well known landmark in San Francisco city more than 10 million people visit it every year. About 39 million people drive over the bridge a year. The Golden Gate Bridge is the fifth most popular in family destinations.
So in conclusion the Golden Gate Bridge is a pretty magnificent bridge.
By: Gauri Menon
So listen up misters!
We love each other,
Our bond will live forever!
We are so much like!
We both like to sing on the mic!
We both like books.
We are both good cooks!
We both like basketball,
Together we have a ball!
But, even if we don't have things in common!
We will still love each other!
No matter what, we will love each other.
Our bond will live forever!
Bridge of Hope
By: Amélie Warden
A bridge does not need to be built by hand, it’s just as simple as anything.
May 1. Jessica, Miami, United States
I feel left out like when we play soccer, I feel like a ragdoll getting pushed around. Then Lexi takes me on the team (she isn’t a captain even though she is in 6th grade). I want to fit it in and play soccer like everyone. Be normal, be understandable.
I am Jessica, 11-year old shy girl I live on Maple Rd. Everyone except Boys think I’m cute but all I say is “Shut up!” when they try to talk to me romantically.
The only thing that I’m looking forward to right now is visiting Paris during spring break. It’s my reward for getting good grades.
I learned French this year. Bonjour, au revoir, etc.
I desire Paris to change me…
May 1. Juliette, Paris, France
Bonjour. I’m Juliette, a very self conscious 13-year old. I sit in the corner of the class, thinking “I’m not good, am I?” I probably failed my French test but I don’t care. All I care about is finding a friend. But who in the world would like to be friends with me? Real friends that care… I want to build bridges with someone who is willing to pick me up if I fall. Make me smile even if it’s raining or like being in the darkness and feeling happy.
May 1. Ashley, London, Britain
Hi! I’m Ashely, I go by Ash. I’m moving to France today - it’s really hard to leave twelve years of memories.
My dog Biscuit is going to be sold. It’s very sad especially because I have all the pressure on my shoulders… like being blamed for everything.
I hope France is better.
Epilogue. One week later. Paris, France
The cold steel touched Jessica’s hand, as she headed up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. She bumped into two girls on the stairs. “Hi?”- Jessica said, puzzled. There was a pause. “Hi! I’m Juliette, and this is Ash.” Juliette pointed to a blond-haired girl. “Do you want to go up with us?” The three of them spent the rest of the evening talking about problems and dramas in their lives.
For me, life is a river that always flows under a bridge. Sometimes rugged, sometimes nice. But it will never be perfect for everyone. A bridge can be built between different people, no matter who you are, what you believe in. You can always make a bridge even at the darkest times. It connects cultures, people, and problems, like in the story.
By: Avani Raghuvanshi
“I’m super worried about Middle School!” Says Beria. “Why?” Says Bona. “Because it’s a new life! I wished someone felt how I feel.” Says Beria. “Someone does! And you can make a bridge to find out!” “A bridge?” Asks Beria. “Yeah! A connection, like what’s your favorite food? Mines Pizza” “Same!” Says Beria.
By: Saudi Moore
Il y a longtemps, il y avait une famille appelée les Moores. Les Moores étaient une grande famille de 10 personnes. La famille allait toujours en road trips. Un jour, alors que la famille conduisait du Nevada au Rhode Island, il y avait un très énorme pont sur lequel ils devaient conduire.
The family noticed that the bridge was broken. The father of the family said that he wanted to help. He also talked about how fun it was when he was a construction worker. He then started to help out the construction workers who were repairing the bridge. They spent days and nights working on it and while he was helping with the construction the mother and the 10 kids were at a guest house in Kansas City.
Environ une semaine après le début de la construction, le père est devenu ami avec les autres travailleurs de la construction et ils sont devenus de très bons amis. Ils sortaient manger ensemble et il allait à l'hôtel tout le temps. La vie était bonne à l'époque.
But one thing was off…the family totally forgot about the road trip. Now they were already bought a house and the kids went to school there. The father also worked as a construction worker and the mother was a stay at home mom. They loved their new life, not living on the road but all their family was in Rhode Island. Speaking of the reason they were even going to Rhode Island was for a family reunion that they forgot all about. The family noticed that what they were doing was wrong.
Le lendemain matin, la famille s'est réveillée et ils ont vendu la maison et sont retournés sur la route. Le nouvel ami du père l'a accompagné et est devenu une partie de la famille. Ils étaient tous une grande famille et ont vécu le reste de leur vie heureux pour toujours.
By: Helena Hegg
WHAT NORTON HAS TO SAY
By: Liam Harrison
I sit on the streets of L.A.
Alone almost every day
Near the Los Angeles Bay
My bell towers rise with the Hollywood Sign
I am almost completely covered in vine
While my golden bells shine
I am the most beautiful cathedral in the west
I am the best
And may I forever rest
But it is not always peaceful, that is no debate
Not since the earthquake of 1908
When Los Angeles shook, I almost met my fate
My carpets went sliding!
My bells, boy, did they ring!
My candles went flying and landed with pings!
But look at me now
And you will see how
I have changed and Wow!
Is what you will say
When you see me on Sunday
Or when you pass me on your way
To your destined space
I will always be your holy place
When you come to me it is your lucky day
You will never forget the day you met Norton Cathedral of L.A.
By: Camilo Bicanich
We get around arepas as a family to share old traditions. Arepas are a very important part of our week. We have them at least once a week, and as we eat them we talked about our favorite ones.
Arepas connect me to part of my Venezeulas culture. And I love to share it with you.
How to build a bridge
By: Hanan Berhanu
Step 1, planning a bridge: you have plan how to build a bridge, if you don’t the cars that ride it will fall in a lake or ocean .
Step 2, Compaction of soil: the thing you make to build a bridge has to be car proof. That means it doesn’t fall if there are a lot of cars on the bridge.
Step 3, pour abutments: make sure that the bridge is really strong. Put strong structures on the bridge. 🌉.
Step 4, Grider placement: the bridge you wanna build has to be is the right spot.
Like if you want to build a bridge at a big lake, make sure it is in the right spot.
Step 5, Decking plan: the deck for the bridge has to be planned or it will fall. If you are a builder and you have to build a bridge then make sure the deck is planned.
Step 6, Raillings installed: You need the side of the bridge for balance. Make sure that you add raillings for the balance of the bridge.
Step 7, Paint and decor, paint the bridge for color. The bridge would look better if it is colorful or maybe you just add 2 colors maybe 1.
Last but not least
Step 8, testing: you have to test the bridge to make sure it won’t fall or anything bad happens. But I bet nothing bad will happen.
From a 4th grader.
Facts about the sunshine skyway bridge
By: Jehan Lewis
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida is famous for being the longest cable-stayed concrete bridge in the world. It has a long tern and when you’re in the middle of it there’s two long towers with strings coming up from it, and it takes five to ten minutes to go through it and 4.1 miles long and over 50,000 vehicles cross it every day.
B.B. Shines Through
By: Sienna Hanson
Blue Berry (B.B.) Yogurt was so excited for school today! For today they found out their roles in the school play. She rushed to the bus stop and said hello to her best friends – Brock Broccoli and Ally Apple. “Hey B.B.” Ally exclaimed. “I’m so excited, I hope I get the Pineapple part - I practiced for weeks!” B.B said, “Better you than me, I will be backstage cheering you on and whatever else a stagehand does” Brock stated.
After school B.B. and the rest of the cast went to the theater.
Jay Jelly was the director. “Okay everyone, let’s get this show on the road” exclaimed Jay. “We’re going to give this school the best - Everybody Loves Pineapple - The Musical ever!”
Izzy Ice Cream - the most popular kid in school was also up for the part of the Pineapple.
Jay Jelly started announcing the cast. “Mr. Banana will be played by Andy AllSpice. For the part of Mrs. Banana, that goes to Ally Apple.” Ally squealed with excitement. “For our lead roles – the coveted part of The Pineapple goes to … drumroll please… Izzy IceCream!” Izzy jumped up, ““Me, me, me, me, me, MEEEE!!” she sang and took a bow. And all the other food cheered, except for B.B. She held back tears and clapped politely. “Okay, okay, oh yeah, I almost forgot about the Eggplant – that will be played by B.B. yogurt.” “Oh no,” B.B. thought. Sasha Strawberry chuckled, “nobody likes eggplant” she whispered to Izzy. But B.B. forced a smile and took her script.
Ally and Brock - B.B.’s besties - met her outside the theater afterwards, “We’re sorry you didnt get the Pineapple part, B.B.” Ally said – “But at least you look great in purple!”
“Yeah, I know you are disappointed, B.B. but there is no small or unimportant role. Even mine - as the stagehand. You need all the parts to pull off a great performance!”
“Yeah, yeah, but this was supposed to be my time to shine. I wish I could just quit.” B.B said.
The group practiced for weeks and weeks. They sang, they danced and practiced their lines. B.B. was dejected - she didn’t want to be the Eggplant, she longed to have Izzy’s part of the Pineapple. Izzy had incredible yellow costumes and catchy solos and the funniest lines. B.B. looked like a big purple dinosaur, not an eggplant, in her costume. Eggplant was dull and boring, pineapple was sweet, and a show stopper.
Director, Jay Jelly, pulled B.B. aside one day after rehearsal. “Are you feeling okay, B.B.? You did such a great job in your audition for The Pineapple, I thought you could really bring The Eggplant some bedazzle, but it's a bit de-dazzled” “Oh, I’m just peachy, I will try to up my dazzle.”
The play was only a day away. B.B. was still struggling to find any dazzle for her role. Brock noticed “B.B., you can shine in any role you’re in. It isn't about having the lead and the most praise, it’s about playing your part the best you can and being part of something bigger than yourself – putting on a great performance for each other and our audience! Let’s call Ally and we’ll make this Eggplant shine.”
So Ally, Brock and B.B. all met at Ally’s house and spent hours laughing, practicing lines and bedazzling her purple dinosaur, I mean Eggplant, costume with glitter, rhinestones and sparkles.
“Thanks guys,” B.B. said “you helped remind me that I should give every role I play my best and find a way to shine.”
The day of the performance, B.B. and the entire cast put on a great show and as they took their final bows - the audience roared with applause. Director, Jay Jelly, came up to B.B. afterwards “Wow, B.B. - now that was something - I have never seen an eggplant dazzle quite like tonight!” B.B. blushed and thanked Jay. Now B.B. knows she can shine in any role - big or small.
By: Hunter Pederson
One normal day in California construction workers were going to make the Golden Gate Bridge! People were very happy for an easier way to get to where they need to. The next day the construction workers started to build. Meanwhile 4 years later people had forgotten about the bridge and didn’t care for it any more. A day later it was complete. It was midnight storming and no one thought about the bridge. But then.. Kaboosh!! The bridge got struck by lightning rooaar!! The bridge was alive. People saw the bridge and ran for their lives. The bridge quickly sat up and started his Rampage. The bridge stomped on stores and crushed little houses. Then the police surrounded the bridge. A little man walked up to the bridge. He was a painter. Soon the bridge realized he wasn’t painted. The bridge was sorry for what he did. 4 months later the bridge was happy and painted. He helped repair all the damaged buildings. The people had a new friend. THE END!
We would like to all elementary school staff who played a role in the development and implementation of this literature publication, especially Ms. Kortnie Unzen, one of the Gifted and Talented Specialists at Somerset Elementary, for her vision and leadership.
We would like to thank all 13 of our brave, creative, and talented writers and artists. Your effort and contributions have helped us to see both that this type of thing is possible, but also how incredible it could get once we broaden our audience of submissions for next year.