What a Year!

What a Year!

The 2016/2017 school year through the eyes of your students

Last week we published a Newsela Year in Review article, and nearly 7,000 students submitted their own Year in Review responses to our Write Prompt! Our team loved reading through each response and hearing what made an impact in the lives of your students this year. Some submissions made us laugh, while others made us tear up. All of them showed us a glimpse into the remarkable minds and hearts of your students and reminded us of what a great privilege it is to be a part of your classroom.

Our staff picked our favorites for each age group, and published them (unedited below). Congrats to the winners, and to every student who made the most of the school year!


Write about two important moments you shared with your school community during the 2016-2017 school year. Why are those moments important to you? Why are they important to your community?


Playing the violin is important for me. It is important because I always wanted to play an instrument but I did not know which one. At first I wanted to play a guitar but their were lessons to play a violin, and my mom told me that once you play a violin it will not be difficult to play a guitar. Playing the violin is also important because I am going to get to play with my family members in a Mexican band. It is also important because we have a consent and we are going to show what we learned and what our teacher teaches and we will show the audeonce why it is important and mayby if they like it they might want to play it. Learning the violin is not that easy but it is important to know what things are so you won't break it and if you do it is ok because strings break all the time. Playing lacrosse is important to me and also my class mates. It is important because it is fun and every one gets to play and many some day we can be perfeshinals. Lacrosse is not that easy to play but thanks to mr. Fuqua we already know how to play. Another reason why lacrosse is important is because I did not like sporots but when I tried lacrosse with Mr.Fuqua and Mrs.Fuqua I loved lacrosse. Lacrosse can be also important if you play lacrosse because you have to go to game and have fun playing because lacrosse is some thing fun not boring. You may not like lacrosse but I like it and it is important to me in many ways like when I have fun with my team mates and not only that lots more. Lacrosse is important because it also helps you get exercise by tuning. It can also help you with throwing.

  • Cecilia, 3rd Grade, CA

My school is a huge peaceful family. We celebrate many traditions together. We also have special events. One of those events is the Olympics. On this day we gather in the gym and have different color teams. We get to work together and use teamwork. I love the Olympics because I get to work and play with my friends. This day is very important to my school community because it shows how well we can cooperate and work with others. Kids from pre k to eighth grade participate. There are all different sizes, cultures, and ages. Speaking of cultures, my school also celebrates Korean Thanksgiving. Other kids get to see what the Korean culture is like. We watch the traditional dances, eat food, and some students even dress up. It is very cool and fun. I like this day because I get to experience the Korean culture. This day is also very special and meaningful to my school community because it shows how diverse our school is. Every school has something unique about. This is what makes my school special, unique, and stand out from others!

  • Katerina, 4th grade, NJ

At Blue Star, I was rock climbing with one of my friends next to me. She told me that she's going to quit and not complete the climb. I agree, it was very hard, but I challenged her and told her that you can make it if you concentrate. I am really proud of what I did because we both made it, and if I hadn't told her to keep going, I would have kept the victory for myself. My next memory is when I had no one to sit with at lunch. Everyone felt bad but they never came to sit with me. I didn’t mind at all that I was alone. The a few seconds later, one of my other friends came to sit me. I thought that was such a nice gesture that later I will do something nice for her.

  • Katie, 5th grade, GA

There are many moments I shared with my school community during the 2016-2017 school year. One of those moments was when I was an escort for Career Day. My job was to take the different participants to their scheduled class. So then they could present their work and tell the class what they do as a job. This moment was important to me because it made me feel like I was responsible for doing something important, it made me feel special. This was important to my school community because without me one of the participants wouldn't know where is the class they were assigned to which would make them late and the class wouldn't get to see their presentation. Another special moment I shared with my school community was when I was in the 5th grade during the beginning of the 2016 year. A group of girls and I participated in a environmental project. We decided to grow a garden for our community across the street from our school in a empty seating area. This moment was important to me because I got to do something nice for my community. It was important to the community because now they have nice area to sit and relax after school, while also winning my school a trophy for doing our project.

  • Alyssa, 6th grade, NJ

Over the past year, my school has done many crucial and exciting things. One of my favorite moments that I shared with this community was an all girls women empowering assembly. Which featured a kind campaign movie that focused on stopping bullying and rude remarks from women to women. This was important to me and my community because it opened our eyes on how seemingly meaningless things we say can affect a person. Another one of my favorite moments was going on a band field trip and performing at a elementary school for their olympic day (a more intense version of field day.) This trip was important to me because even though it rained while we were rehearsing we still persevered and ended up playing inside. This trip was important because it taught us to be flexible and readapt when things go wrong. It also was important to the community because the band helped the kids at the school get excited and they liked our playing.

  • Elizabeth, 7th grade, IL

I remembered the 2016 presidential campaign and election, which evoked quite a bit of controversy, mainly with our new president, Donald J.Trump over several topics. One of those topics were immigration laws, which affects me as I was not born in the United States and that the United States is a mixed country with people coming from all over the world, so it would be unfair for people coming from a specific region to not be allowed into this country. Although I understand with the several terrorist attacks on the United States over the past few, that immigration laws would be more strict, but what has transpired so far seems rather much. The topic of immigration in my community is important because the majority of people in Southern California are Latinos, so it wouldn't make sense why a wall should be built to keep Mexicans out. Another moment in the year is the drought in California finally ending, which affects me and our community because now we have more water. We should still conserve water because the resources on Earth are still limited and we should be environmentally friendly as this is the only Earth we have.

  • DeFang, 8th grade, CA

One important moment I shared with my school community during the 2016-2017 year was expanding my interest in music production. Over the past few years, I have taken an interest in listening to music and how music is made. Going into high school, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to delve into this new interest by taking a music production class. Everyone in the class was so welcoming and friendly. Unfortunately, at the end of the class, I realized that I couldn't see myself doing music production as my career. It was an important turning point in my life, because I finally knew that music was something I didn't want to pursue, so I could spend more time on other interests. I could use more opportunities to try other classes and meet new people in my school. Another important moment was volunteering in a clinic for my tennis team. It was a clinic to teach kids of all ages how to play tennis, taught by the [Massachusetts] High School tennis team. This experience was very valuable to me, because I realized that I love to teach kids. The tennis clinic was important to me because I realized how easy it was to contribute to my school community by raising money for the tennis team and at the same time, help out my [Massachusetts] community. This experience was important to my community because I had the opportunity to make an impact on the kids in that clinic that were coming to my high school next year. I know that some of them will at ease with the environment and see some friendly faces from the clinic.

  • Caroline, 9th grade, MA

An important moment that I shared with the community was A Day Without Immigrants. My community closed for the most part all stores and that I am aware of we did not buy from big brand stores. This moment is important to me because my parents are immigrants and its good to know that there are people willing to stand up for our ideas. This moment is important to the community because the community is for the majority immigrants and by participating in this event we show unity. Another important moment was the fake news controversy. It was important because believing in this fake news made me scared and unaware of what was happening in actuality. Furthermore, this was important to the community because it caused distress and panic. Hence, two important moments of the 2016-2017 school year was A Day Without Immigrants and the fake news dilemma.

  • Erica, 12th grade, IL

With Newsela PRO, you can view all of your students' writing on Newsela, plus access hundreds of classroom activities connected to articles, and more. Schedule a call with us to learn more about Newsela PRO and make next school year as memorable for your students as this one.

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