Snow Angel
The snow is falling, landing on my bright red cheeks.
Watching the lights in my house, I get ready to leave, get ready to take flight.
I spread my wings, snow moving slowly past me.
I start to fly, feeling unstoppable, watching the Christmas lights drift to a blur.
The snow is falling, landing on my bright red cheeks.
Grace McNalley, grade 6

Before the Show
I sat in my chair, shaking with nervousness and excitement. I was about to play my fiddle at Higher Ground Music Center in Burlington. As the master of ceremonies introduced me, I started to walk up on stage. In the back of my head I heard cheering, but in front, everything was blank. I tried to remember what my friends and family had told me, “Imagine that all the audience is in their underpants!” Nope, I thought, that was just too weird. “Imagine you are just playing in your room and nobody is there.” That’s impossible; there were more then 50 people in front of me. I tried hard to smile as I sat in front of the mic. I didn’t have the strength to do that now. Maybe once I played one song, I would feel better. I glanced at the song list in my hand; I decided not to follow that for now. When I wrote that, I was not nervous at all, just excited that I had this huge opportunity. But now I needed to play my favorite song that would let my stress out. St.Nick’s was the perfect song. As I droned on the A string for eight measures, I started to feel better. Then I launched into the song. It was fast paced and upbeat, so I could only pay attention to the song, not the audience. It sounded pretty and clear. When I finished the song, I felt so much better, happy even. I made my announcement, launched into another song, and I was fine.
Caroline Swayze, grade 6

Crossroad
I stand at a crossroad.
I stand at a crossroad with a stranger.
I take one road he takes the other.
I take one fate, he claims another.
We are very different as you can see.
He is himself and I am me.
We make our own choices and leave the other be.
Hadley Stockwell, grade 6

A Winter’s Night
All is quiet
Snow whirls in the wind
The moon illuminates the town
The ice glistens
The darkness thickens
A bird sleeps in its nest
A bear lies down in rest
All is quiet
The snow settles
The moon sinks away
The ice slickens
The darkness shrinks
A bird wakes
A bear shakes
The day begins
Hadley Stockwell, grade 6

Snow Village
Shimmery snow-covered stone, the children on the ice rink and the families in the cafe make it look picturesque.
Nobody looks gloomy or sad.
On the doorsteps carolers sing, the people happy and jolly as the lights flicker from the church bells.
Wonderful this place is where all can be merry and cheerful.

Village people can skate and decorate their Christmas trees.
Incandescent lights are visible from far away as it all comes together and is ready to be displayed.
Lovely it would be to stay in such a wonderful place.
Lively you could be knowing that everything will be filled with cheer, asking me to come stay here.
Another time maybe because I am happy right here,
Gently unwrapping my presents with inquisitive curiosity
Enjoying the cheer and wishing for a happy new year.

Now it is time to leave, the small houses seem to say goodbye as we sadly tuck them into their boxes. Longing to stay here forever, we wish them goodbye. See you next time, snow village, see you next Christmas time.
Grace McNalley, grade 6

Christmas
Snow falling to the ground
There is no grass to be found
The winter breeze is cold
Our Christmas tree is decorated silver and gold
Above the fireplace stockings are hung
House to house carols are sung
The most wonderful time of the year
Hot cocoa, Christmas trees, and reindeer.
Ella Beerworth, grade 6

Winter Wonderland
My salty eyes open wide. My cold toes touch the wonderfully heated floor. And as I begin to see the world around me, something catches my eye. It’s the window. I walk slowly over to see what it is. As I open my curtains, light comes trickling into my eyes, blinding me with beauty. As my eyes adjust, the world becomes clear. Snowflakes are slowly drifting down to earth, no two are alike, passing by each other, each with their own beauty. And then, whoosh! A beauteous blue jay comes swooping down to earth trying to find berries to eat. But then the most exquisite sight of all, a bed of pearly white snow covering the earth’s surface. It’s not a dream, It’s a winter wonderland.
Coco Eyre, grade 6

Winter
Winter is a wonderful time of year
It’s a time with Santa and lots of reindeer
It’s a time with menorahs and eight days of gifts
The light and soft snow has beautiful drifts
It’s a time for skiing, sledding and more
It’s the most beautiful time to be outdoors
Baking cookies is always so much fun
Up early in the morning to the presents the kids run
Winter is the most magical time of year
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day is almost here
Five, four, three, two, one!
It’s the new year, everybody, celebrate and have fun!
Natalie D’Amico, grade 6

Freedom from Fear
freedom
happiness
stability
life
all ancient necessities
all parts of our soul
of our country
for those who live without
without freedom
without happiness
without stability
live with nothing
they live with fear
of death
destruction
the unknown
of tomorrow
they feel something
profound
the need to rebel
that is the need for freedom
for safety
their lives
like empty cornhusks
fluttering in the harsh hurricane of fear
Eliza Merrill, grade 7

Fear
No one should lie awake at night trembling whenever the wind blows.
No one should cower when a plane flies across the sky.
No one should have to be wary and scared when they see a new person walking near their home.
No one’s food should have to be rationed to the last grain.
No one should have to run away because they have no choice.
No one should have to travel at night and hide during the day.
No one should have to see history repeat itself.
No one should see gray skies and not remember when they were blue
No one should have to watch the news, hoping that they don’t see a familiar face.
No one should have to wake up, checking the door to see if it’s shut.
No one should see a globe and have to plan their escape.
No one’s backpack should be heavy with guns instead of books.
No one should have to have nightmares about being all alone.
Spiders,
snakes,
darkness, heights, elevators, tests,
but No One Should Have To Fear Being Alive.
We are all free to fear
but we should also all have the freedom not to fear
Chloe Silverman, grade 7

Freedom from Fear
It allows us to be free of worries
of war and bad happenings
It reminds us
that we are safe from catastrophe

It gives us the power
to think nice thoughts
and to escape the common enemy
of our minds

It helps us to look on
the bright side
and keep the things we love
safe and sound
Freedom from fear
Madeline Haydock, grade 7

Freedom from Fear
People should not have to lie in bed scared
They shouldn’t want to live somewhere else
They should not fear getting attacked

People should be able to live freely
Not having to stay in their houses at night
Not afraid of getting kidnapped

People should not have to worry about their safety
Not having to worry about diseases
Not having to worry that you will never see your family again

People should be able to live life to the fullest
They should be able to live freely
They should have freedom from fear
Holden Batchelder, grade 7

Freedom from Fear
No one should have to live with fear,
that their house will be bombed,
that they aren’t safe in their beds at night.
No one deserves to cower in fear
when they see planes fly overhead,
wondering if a bomb will be dropped.
No one’s life should be spent in hiding,
traveling at night,
biding their time in the day.
Fears can be small,
fears can be large.
People deserve to be safe from their fears,
no matter their gender, race, or creed.
As a human being,
freedom from fear is a basic freedom.
Everyone should have
freedom from fear
Isabella Hackerman, grade 7

I Can Speak
Freedom of Speech
I can speak
I can squeak
Nobody can stop me
One, two, three
I can say what I want
even when you say I cannot
I can chat
even with a cat
I can shout
and ask about your snout
I must say
before you run away
I am free
as you can see
Fiona Lemieux, grade 8

American Dream
The four freedoms,
the American Dream.
Freedom from fear,
and want.
Freedom to speak our minds,
and to practice whatever religion we believe in.
The dream of a better future
for our children,
and the blindness we have to those
whose lives are not so perfect
and free of want.
We dream that all citizens have
freedom from fear,
and can walk our streets
knowing that no one is looking at them with hate,
or ill intent,
that all citizens can live their lives
never lacking the essentials,
a roof over their heads.
We dream that we can speak our minds
and practice our religion
without fear of retaliation.
Tell me:
Have we achieved our American Dream?
Do all of our citizens have the four freedoms,
and not just an idea of what it is like?
I think we still have a ways to go,
and our “American Dream” is still
a distant fantasy, and not yet achieved.
First, we must open our eyes to those who do not have these freedoms.
Then, we can build a better tomorrow.
Courtney McDermott, grade 8

Bill of Rights in Prose and Poetry
Prose
As humans, I believe that we are born with certain rights that we have in our nature. We all make mistakes from which we learn and get second chances to redeem ourselves. We have emotions, and we have the right to share them without being restricted. At times, we are independent, yet at other times, dependent, and we have the right to be both. These are rights that can’t be taken away from us, and the government is here to keep them protected. This is why the Bill of Rights was created. It states the rights that we are born with as humans and how we need to have them protected. No one can take advantage of them, or take them away. There are ten main amendments that cover many of our rights, but the Bill of Rights also states that these are not the only rights that we have, and the government cannot take advantage of the rights that aren’t stated. We need to ensure that what was written in the Bill of Rights many years ago is not going to change. With so many systems, and with our world advancing so much, we need to make sure that what we started with stays with us. We need to keep our rights protected. Our rights are unalienable. This means that our rights are a gift and they cannot be taken away. This is incredibly essential. It protects us and keeps us free. We aren’t controlled by our government, and it will stay that way.
Poem
As humans, we are born with rights.
This allows us to live a free life.
The Bill of Rights ensures our protection,
so that we can keep our rights with no objection.
Our world is transforming day by day
yet we still have the same rights.
They will not be taken away.

How can an idea have so much power?
It carries amendments and rights that we follow by the hour.
A bill that was created so long ago,
still stays enforced, and every person knows.
Ten main amendments, more created through time,
There may be more to come to keep us in line.
Catherine Young, grade 8

Freedom of Speech
Freedom
A word of importance
A word of rights
A word for the people
Speech
A word of power
A word of significance
Freedom of speech is of uttermost importance
It is power for the people, it can bring light in the dark
Some will say that it is not wise, but really, it is a prize
Some say it should die, but they are telling themselves a big lie
So important it is, without it, it may be hard to live
We need it, for our rights, for our freedom
We can’t give it up
Freedom of speech
Benjamin Sampson, grade 8

Freedom of Speech
You have a voice.
What does that mean?
Does it mean that you have a say?
An opinion?
A belief?
An expression?
Someone once told me that minorities didn’t have a voice.
The most precious things we have as humans are our perspectives, our thoughts, and our decisions.
Imagine that being swept away like leaves in the wind,
our lives meaningless.
All because we don’t have an opinion on what happens.
We have a vote.
We get a choice.
We have a voice in this country
about what is acceptable.
The only thing you can control is what you do to make a change.
That’s the exact reason we have freedom of speech,
to make a change in the world we are in.
Even though everyone has a different perspective on life, we all have our opinions,
and we learn from our differences.
If we have “wrong” or “incorrect” opinions, we can learn and share our beliefs.
People immigrated to the United States for freedom.
but speech lets all of these freedoms become possible because of the opportunity to choose.
So yes, I believe in freedom,
a freedom of speech.
Speak up.
Get loud.
Use your voice.
Not a quiet one,
a loud one.
Use it, don’t abuse it.
Make a statement.
Create your impression.
Do your best.
Reveal your opinion.
Show yourself.
Express yourself.
You know what?
Be yourself.
Be confident.
Be confident not because you have a privilege,
but because you have a right.
And so does everyone else
in the United States
because you have freedom.
You have freedom of speech.
Carolina Sicotte, grade 8

Freedom from Want
My eyes flicker open,
sunlight streaming
through a hole in the wall,
covered by what fabric I could spare,
my window.

I put on the same shirt,
old skirt
and worn out shoes,
the only ones I have.

My stomach grumbling
with a hunger that’s never left,
my mouth dry
and feet dirty.

Our old home
a creaky,
shaky shack
with a leaky roof
and scrap metal
making up
the surrounding walls.

I am the oldest,
my job the hardest,
fetch water,
patch the house,
cook,
care for those with sickness.
And watch over
a brother,
and a small,
baby sister,

Our parents
put their heart and soul
into caring for us,
but
without access
to clean water,
enough food
and medication.
They passed
before
my sister even knew their names.

Although it’s getting better,
we’re still not there.
Freedom
from
want,
of this I dream.
Ella Haire, grade 8

Separation of Church and State
We need to separate church and state
Many U.S. citizens would be irate
The government can’t be the Church’s fate
The U.S. would become out of date
This should not be up for debate
As a Jew
it would be hard to push through
As a Hindu
it would be hard to subdue
As a Rasta
you would feel like an imposta
As a Buddhist
you might feel like you’re useless
People would feel outlawed
and also quite appalled
Don’t treat anyone wrong
It’s been done for too long
Our religious freedom is at stake
Taking rights away would be a mistake
William Berkowitz, grade 8

Freedom of Speech and Expression
I think that freedom of speech and expression is the most important freedom for me. If I’m not able to say what I want and express my feelings about this world, then what’s the point of living? I think that speech and expression are the ways I can make a difference in this world; they are the most important things that I can do. When I’m not able to talk or be myself, I feel lost, as if my voice will never be heard and that my ideas will never help anyone. It’s the worst feeling in the world. I would never wish that on anyone else, no matter how awful that person is or if I think his or her ideas are wrong. That would be cruel and the worst kind of punishment. Our ideas are what make us human; without them, what are we? No voice should ever be silenced.
Moira Buxton, grade 8