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Volume 12, #4 (September -- October, 2000)

The issue features --

  • The winners of the 2000 Youth Honor Awards and their creative works (See sample writings below).
  • A 12-page spread, including a photo essay on Hawai'i and Hawaiian Culture.
  • A photo essay on the Maasai people of East Africa,
  • "Come Back Thursty," a Pennsylvania Dutch Folktale
  • ... Plus the regular departments: International penpals, What's on Your Mind, Bookshelf, News, Letters to Editor, and Dear Hanna.

    The 2000 Youth Honor Award Winners!

    Sam Miller, 7, Dunn Elem. School, Fort Collins, Colorado
    Corrine Nicole Kline, 14, Florence, South Carolina
    Samantha Brady, 13, Stephanie Craft, 14, & Amanda Burk, 14,
    students at Pine-Richland Middle School, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
    Jessi M., 15, Rosemont School, Portland, Oregon
    Brittany P., 15, Rosemont School, Portland, Oregon
    Christina Jeffery, 15, homeschooler, Barrow, Alaska
    Amanda Marusich, 16, South Eugene High, Eugene, Oregon
    Mike Reszler, 16, Celebration Academy, Ashland, Wisconsin
    Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss, 17, Capital High School, Olympia, Washington
    Cultural Awareness Committee, Capital High School, Olympia, Washington

    A few sample writings

    Hija de las Estrellas: Child of the Stars

    The ocean purrs against the sand
    and the moon hovers strangely in the blue sky
    feeling awkward and out of place
    yet pleased at the feel of her languid azure bed
    I gaze into her swiftly darkening mirror
    and see my face in her pearly beauty
    Smiling at the pleasant incongruity among fields of trembling clouds
    Her smooth icy face is troubled with questions
    She wonders inwardly who she could be
    Who could she be in a world that sees too much and not enough?
    As she whispers,
    The sun is my father, the night my mother
    And neither is more powerful or more meek
    For they reign in turns
    making the earth her blush under
    their rays of love and tranquility
    And though outside the star is pale, she hides her soul behind a mask of porcelain
    For that is all they see because they are so far away
    How can they see not that she is dark beneath layers of skin?
    How can they see not that Hispanic blood runs warmly through her veins
    And gurgles beneath her eyes of sea-stone light
    while whirlpools of chocolate brown swirl beneath?
    Again she whispers clumsily,
    yet purring the words that spill so naturally off her tangled tongue,

    Y suspira suavemente
    As' suspira el viento
    As' suspira mi alma
    Y la sangre Colombiana canta en mi cuerpo
    Como los pajaros cantan en las ramas de los arboles.
    Y como puedo cantar
    cuando todo el mundo ve que soy blanca
    Y si pudiera pelar esta piel podrian ver que
    adentro soy cafe
    debajo de estos ojos azules hay ojos de chocolate
    Mira, mira. Acercate
    Oye el murmuro de mi sangre
    Oye que canta con orgullo
    Oyeme -- que soy la hija del sol y de la noche que soy la hija-estrella
    Entiende que yo me amo y me odio a la misma vez
    Trata de entender que duele ser la hija de dos mundos
    Y que diciendo esto estoy rasgu-ada y desnuda

    And I understand that when I tell you this I am raw and naked under your condescending eyes
    You can never understand, unless you're one of us
    One of us daughters or sons of day and night
    Who are twilight children
    Straddling two cultures... two worlds
    And realizing that it was love that made us who we are
    Love that created twilight children, not knowing their suffering
    Love that I have to make myself believe in when I feel I belong to no world but the twilight world
    Love that I will never quite understand
    Love that made me a part of two worlds
    Never quite belonging to either one
    But you can't see, and never will unless you are an offspring of day and night, like me.
    For we will wander and wonder in the moments where night touches day... In a silent kiss
    and father sinks into the ocean while mother floats into the sky
    No puedes ver, hasta las estrellas más brillantes se esconden detras de las nubes a veces tambien?
    Can't you see that even the brightest stars can be hidden by the clouds sometimes, too?

    -- Janiva Cifuentes-Hiss, 17, Olympia, Washington. Janiva writes, "My poetry is inspired by my emotions about being bi-racial. Sometimes it seems that straddling two cultures is a challenge, especially because my outward appearance betrays half of my racial identity, but I realize that I have been doubly blessed by being able to relate to, and understand two cultures. My activities include chess, salsa and merengue, tennis, snowboarding, various clubs, and community service. In the future I hope to write and publish novels, become a dentist, and return to Columbia to give free dental care to impoverished people.

    Our Journey

    We've been living here forever,
    beneath the stars above, children of
    the same creation.

    We've been given sustenance to share
    what's natural, our duty, we understand,
    returns a life of love.

    We give thanks for birds of beauty,
    who spread their wings and sing, and for thunders,
    who wake up the earth in spring.

    Sisters of the planet world, forest trees,
    stand firm and tall, the Spirit of flowing
    waters, purest medicine of all.

    We greet each other in our minds,
    our voices singing song, acknowledging
    we're part of what belongs.

    When the syrup from the maple brings
    the winter's end, we give thanks for where
    we've come from and know where we have been.

    -- Mike Reszler, 16, Ashland, Wisconsin. Mike is a member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa. His Indian name is Sching Wak (Big White Pine). He lives on the reservation with his maternal grandparents. The inspiration for Journey came when he was in the woods one Spring day. He writes, "I have three sisters, all younger. My hobbies include reading, writing, and playing golf. I also like learning about our Tribal government. A dream of mine is to one day become Tribal Chairperson for my reservation."

    Peer Mediation Program

    When I attended Longfellow Elementary School several years ago, I was part of the peer mediation program. Although many of the conflicts that we encountered were trivial, we did manage to solve some hateful playground problems. We also learned a helpful approach to handling a conflict. These simple steps can be applied anywhere.

    1. Ignore. The peer mediation program recommended that students simply not respond to hateful comments or actions directed towards them. This holds true everywhere. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers practiced nonviolent resistance, and they learned to successfully ignore racial slurs and other comments.

    2. Move away. In simple terms, this means to walk quietly away to another place if the problem persists. Today, we can do the same by moving into more peaceful areas of our lives, and persuading others to move into a nonviolent world also.

    3. Talk friendly. Use friendly terms when making a point or working for a cause. By displaying the message in a nice way, people will not be offended or angered and we can begin to turn the world into a peaceful and non-violent environment.

    4. Talk firmly. At times it is difficult to persuade others into listening to a cause, and this step ensures that attention will be gained. Present facts and details in a firm but clear tone. This will alert others that the cause is important and demands attention and respect.

    5. Get adult help. This merely refers to attracting the attention of higher public officials and authorities to the cause. Once their support has been gained, it is easier to receive even more supporters for peace and nonviolence.

    A peaceful and nonviolent world can and will exist if we take the initiative and make it happen through hard work, respect for all people, love for everything on earth, and a smile to share. Now is the time to make a difference.

    -- Emily Funderburk, 17, Bushwood, Maryland

    Rainbow of Flowers

    I have a rainbow in my yard, with
    How my rainbow starts out is a little seed, a tiny seed. All it needs is sun, 
    water, and air. Suddenly, it happens, it sprouts! A little green fist pops up. 
    A little more each day. Each day one sprouts. All six days they are 
    opening. Suddenly it is finished.
    red tulips,
         orange poppies,
               yellow marigolds,
                    green mountain ash,
                          blue pansies,
                                purple grape hyacinth. 
      That is my rainbow.

    -- Sam Miller, 7, Dunn Elem., Fort Collins, Colorado, writes, "I wrote this poem this spring to tell kids that you can have a rainbow in your backyard. I like flowers, so I thought I would make up a story that told about what I like. I like science, reading books, and having fun writing stories."


    If someone were to ask me about my early years,
    I would only have to say
    		one word,
      because kisses planted on cheeks and arms
     	enfolded in hugs
    		outnumbered the
    			discipline and tears and
    	whether we were dancing in circles or
      racing down the beach during a cookout, being
    		  as a
    			loving family
    				was what mattered.

    -- Christina Jeffery, 15, Homeschooler in Barrows, Alaska.



Skipping Stones Magazine
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