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Literacy and Arts Festival: The SCV

Winning essays

Posted: March 22, 2010 10:43 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Poetry Division Grades 4-6
First Place
“The Valley”

With bees so yellow,
And skies so blue,
Its people so mellow,
I want to show this valley to you.
With the lights so bright,
And trees so tall,
Beautiful stars at night,
I shall show you it all.
Animals so sweet,
And roses so pink,
Sit down and have a treat!
But it will all make you think,
Parks so fun,
It all beats the tally,
There could only be one,
Santa Clarita Valley.
Alexis Harmon
Live Oak Elementary School

Second Place
“What I Think About Santa Clarita”

When I look at Santa Clarita, I think that I am so lucky to live in this phenomenal land.
The breathtaking sunsets are like majestic colors dancing in the sky looking so grand.

The rolling hills look like mounds of soft, warm sand, making me smiley happily.
The gorgeous flowers bloom with millions of brilliant colors and luscious green trees.

I adore the summers here when a huge wave of heat hits Santa Clarita. This is the perfect weather for swimming!
In winter, it’s warm and never snows. What a perfect place to be living.

The people in this fun and beautiful place are very amiable and kind.
There are many people from different countries, and I love learning about their culture — any facts I can find.

My favorite part about Santa Clarita is my friend’s and family’s company.
I like learning about the first people to inhabit my home, the Tataviam Indians, and all of their history.

I am so grateful to all of the people who helped make Santa Clarita what it is today.
I love my home, and I never ever want it to be taken away.
Kailey Blankenship
Castaic Elementary School

Third Place
“Santa Clarita”
Santa Clarita, sunny and bright
A place to live, a place to hike
Nice hills and mountains
Trees and shrubs
A fairy land at sight!

Clean air, clear skies
Lovely flowers abound
Animals like squirrels
Rabbits play around
Indeed this place is magic
Try visiting one time
And you will feel a warm welcome!
Nathaniel Medina
Pinecrest Elementary School

Editorial Division Grades 4-6
First Place

“Santa Clarita is awesome!”
This is what I think of Santa Clarita Valley. I think of joy, fun, excitement, and really good entertainment. We also have a good supply of jobs, stores and events. Some events that we do are Relay for Life and the Walk for Cancer. If you like Tae Kwon Do there are plenty of Tae Kwon Do studios and gymnastics studios in town. We also have delicious restaurants to go and eat at. There is a good dog park in Central Park. There also are a lot of playgrounds for kids to go to. We also have many bike trails for people to go to also. I also think Santa Clarita is a very safe community.

According to the 2009 law enforcement reports Santa Clarita is ranked the 40th-safest city nation-wide. There are several cities in California that rank higher than Santa Clarita Valley. Two of the cities are Simi Valley and Irvine. Some people think their city has more things to do than Santa Clarita Valley. This could be a true fact. I have never lived in another city that is on the law enforcement reports so I don’t know if this is true.

In my opinion Santa Clarita Valley has many nice people and cultures. There are very beautiful homes that are in our community. It is an excellent place too for children to grow up in. Our communities are also very clean. This is what I think of when I think of Santa Clarita Valley.  
Legend Solomon
PineCrest Valencia
Elementary School

Editorial Division Grades 7-8
First Place
“Our Home: The SCV”

Santa Clarita: a place for everyone. The Santa Clarita valley is home to people of numerous ethnicities, religious beliefs, and interests. It is a place where people from Ecuador and people from Alaska are friends, where people who believe in one God and people who believe in 50 gods can have a bond. It is ultimately a melting pot, where the barriers of discrimination are broken and diversity is celebrated.

People from all corners of the world live in our valley. These people select this home because of its safe environment and the wide range of occupations and pastimes that are accessible here. Recreational activities provided in the valley range from playing baseball to taking gymnastics classes. There are many swimming pools, sports complexes, dance studios, and many other pastimes are offered as well. No matter what your hobby is, you can find it here. Also, our schools supply great education. Many of them have become California Distinguished schools and a few are even Blue Ribbon schools. In addition to all of these factors, the Santa Clarita valley boasts many beautiful historical sites. One of these places is Vasquez Rocks — the natural phenomenon that served as a criminal’s hideaway. Two others include Rancho Camulos, home of the heroine Ramona in the book of the same name, and the Oak of the Golden Dream, where entangled in its roots, Francisco Lopez dreamed of and discovered gold.

There are also churches and temples of all kinds here. Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Islam, and many other faiths co-exist here in the SCV. This also applies to the different ethnicities that make up our population. African-Americans, European-Americans, Asian-Americans and more call this valley their home. They all feel comfortable living with the diversity of people thriving in their neighborhood.

Why is this? Everybody is open-minded and prepared to accept our cultural differences. They are not afraid to be friends with people who are unlike them. Despite our cultural differences, we all get along. Families and friends alike find similarities to discuss and differences to explain. Friendships are formed every day. Teachers form special bonds with students. Students meet other students. Everyone understands everyone else, and people do not judge and are not judged by religion or their background. We do not have to worry about being laughed at because of what we think or where we are from, because many other people share our thoughts and cultures. Every tradition is embraced here. Everyone is welcome in the Santa Clarita Valley, and all of its residents are proud to call it their home.
Celine Kiner
Rancho Pico Junior High School

Second Place
“Santa Clarita”

When I think of Santa Clarita I think of home, community, and family. To me there is no better place to grow up. The valley has a small-town quality in the sense that you might see the same people every morning at your local Starbucks, or grocery store, yet there isn’t that feeling that there is nothing to do. You can always catch the latest movie, or meet your friends at the skate park.

The times I have heard of local crimes are so few that I can count them on one hand. I also like Santa Clarita because of the schools, most of which are honored with the Distinguished School Award.

My school is only a few blocks from my house, at the very top of my neighborhood with the most amazing 360 degree view of the surrounding valley.

Santa Clarita is well-known for offering incredible sports programs to the youth in our community. Several famous athletes have come from Santa Clarita to play for national sports teams, including Kyle Boller, who played for the Baltimore Ravens and the St. Louis Rams, and Matt Moore, who plays for the Carolina Panthers. There are many kids who are offered life-changing opportunities and college scholarships thanks to the many athletic programs.

Santa Clarita wasn’t always like the way it is now, filled with parks, restaurants, and shops. Farmland and onion fields were once the norm, and there wasn’t much to see other than a neighbor here or there. I know this to be true because my father grew up nearby and when we drive around town he sometimes tells me stories about how there were more people on horseback than there were driving cars. I think it’s pretty amazing how the city has changed into such a wonderful place.  

I hope that when I am ready to have my own family we will be lucky enough to live in a place just like my hometown, Santa Clarita.
Dash Howell
Rancho Pico Junior High School

Third Place
“What Do You Think When You Think of Santa Clarita Valley?”

When I picked up the packet that stated all the instructions to entering this contest, the first thing I looked at was the theme.

“What do you think when you think of Santa Clarita Valley?” it said. Right away, a four-letter word came into mind. Safe.

As of 2003, Santa Clarita valley was ranked the fifth-safest city in the whole United States of America. And as of 2005, we ranked fourth! The population is consistently increasing, yet the crime rate is continually decreasing. When I walk to a restaurant with my friends for lunch, I feel 100% safe. When I have to ask for directions, I don’t feel suspicious or wary. In my opinion, the people of Santa Clarita are the ones who make it such a great place. One example of when I was so blissful about living in Santa Clarita Valley was when my car broke down. My car had broken down and we had pulled over to the side of the road. Several people stopped to help, or to simply ask us if they could do anything for us. That simple, “Hey, do you need any help?” made my day.

In fifth grade, I took a field trip to Santa Clarita’s City Hall. I can tell you, for a fact, that I considered myself “special” because not everybody had the chance to enter City Hall. We spoke to a lot of the great people who worked there. One thing I remember really liking about them was, they spoke to me like they would to an adult, not a little kid. I remember that the mayor inspired me a lot.

She told us that she ran for mayor before, but did not make it. She told us how she really felt. She didn’t sugar-coat it. She told us that she felt like giving up, but she didn’t. She ran again and she was the new mayor of Santa Clarita Valley. I can say, Santa Clarita’s City Council is very respectful and very kind.

It’s not every day that I hear a crime story that happened in Santa Clarita Valley. I do feel uncomfortable when I hear those stories, but of course I know the police are already on the case. In 2007, there was a very big fire that spread and burned up a lot of Santa Clarita Valley. My family could see the fire from our house and we had to evacuate. I was very frightened. I had left a lot of important things in my house. Later on, the fire had gone, thanks to the firefighters. I made a card for them thanking how much I appreciated them. They were so kind. They thanked me when I gave them the card. They had eyes that were red, and they looked very tired. They thanked me! I was so surprised and I was so glad I had firefighters like these to protect me.

In conclusion, when I think of Santa Clarita Valley, I think of safe. I couldn’t have asked for a better city to live in. And when I grow up, maybe I’ll even continue to live here.
Annette Choi
Arroyo Seco Junior High School


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