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June 19, 2024

Vista Verde students recognized during Steinbeck Day of Writing

GREENFIELD — Vista Verde Middle School students Elena Garcia, Ana Valencia, Arianna Luna and Irene Argueta were finalists for the Steinbeck Young Authors Day of Writing on March 6 and received awards for their writing on April 29.

“To me winning was really important because at first I was really doubting myself,” said Valencia, an eighth-grade student. “I kept saying that I wasn’t going to win and when they called my name I was like, ‘Oh my gosh’.”

Valencia immediately thought about her parents and how they felt proud of her and she was really excited. The 2017 Young Authors Day of Writing was the second time she has participated in the writing class.

About 30 students from Vista Verde Middle School took part in the Steinbeck Young Authors Day of Writing and wrote about John Steinbeck’s “The Red Pony.”

Among those students was seventh-grader Elena Ramirez, who had a lot of fun at the Day of Writing.

“I have a love for writing and they made it really comfortable for us,” Ramirez said. “They made really good matches for our writing coaches.”

During the Steinbeck Young Authors Day of Writing, students from all over Monterey County are paired with a coach who has experience using writing in their everyday career to help the students make their essays better.

For seventh-grade student Daniela Rodriguez, the Day of Writing was very special because it was the second time she was able to take part in the event.

“This year there was a lot of new things, so personally the writing prompt really connected with me,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that some of the new changes included the places for writing and coaches were assigned to students this year versus last year where the students chose their writing coach.

Monica De Jesus and Angel Velasquez, also seventh graders who traveled to the Steinbeck Center in Salinas, attended the event for the first time.

De Jesus said she felt that the day was really special.

Velasquez said, “For me the prompt was one of my favorite types of essays, the argumentative essay.”

The writing prompt included three different prompts to choose from and the argumentative essay was about who was more of a father figure to Jody, Billy Buck or his father.