Minute Maid Park

Posted October 13, 2017 & filed under Event, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.


Minute Maid


Five forty five  A.M.

Screaming, booming

Jose Altuve, Orbit, Carlos Correa

Play games, eat ice-cream

Two months!


by Anthony,  2nd grade


Posted July 8, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

In summer I like chillaxin’

you know, hanging with

friends, doing nothing,

talking and joking,

chillaxin’ in the sun,

chillaxin’ in the shade,

chillaxin’ in the house,

taking it nice and

easy like it’s your

vacation and you’re

making the most of it,

a smooth summer day.

By Chantel, 7th grade

Creative Writing Camp

Posted February 7, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Registration is filling up quickly!

Within the first 20 minutes of open registration, over 100 students enrolled in Creative Writing Camp, a WITS record! Though it comes as no surprise – with our 8 campuses, 70 classrooms, and now 23 years of camp – that parents and kids look to Creative Writing Camp as a staple of their summer plans. Enroll now and find out why Houston Press described the workshops as the “best effort to inject culture into Houston” and AOL City’s Best listed it among Houston’s 6 Best Summer Camps for Kids.

About Creative Writing Camp

Creative Writing Camp offers a supportive environment where children engage in writing stories, poetry, essays, and plays, as well as simply reading for pleasure. Through these activities even the most hesitant child discovers the joy in writing, the intrigue of language, and the confidence of authorship. Students will work with teachers and writers, and the low teacher-student ratios ensure individual attention. Workshops end with a culminating performance and/or reading, and each child will receive an anthology with their published work.

A Collaboration

The Summer Creative Writing Workshops are offered by Writers in the Schools in collaboration with Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture Project (SLC).

Check out the 2012 Camp Highlights:

2012 Creative Writing Camp Highlights from Writers in the Schools on Vimeo.

Re-imagining the Alphabet

Posted August 14, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

The inspiration for Russell’s poem came from a prompt I borrowed from Janine Joseph, a fellow WITS writer. The lesson is called “Re-imagining the Alphabet.” The lesson asks students to re-imagine letters as objects in their everyday world. We practiced doing this as a class, looking at the letter “M” and noticing how it could be imagined as a mountain or a crown and so on, and we also read and discussed e. e. cummings’ poem, “i.” Students were then asked to write poems of their own with letters we gave them (it was a coincidence that Russell received the letter “r,” which he used very cleverly in his poem).

Who Are You r

r is a diving board, hanging over a pool.

r is also a ladder,

helping people to

climb out of the pool.

r is both sides of a spear

or a battle-ax

and a soldier’s hat.

r is the targeting scope of a gun,

and the gun itself.

r is also the first letter of my name,


by Russell, 3rd grade

Listening to the students read the wonderful poems inspired from this lesson was one of the high points of camp for me.

by Michelle Oakes, Creative Writing Camp faculty

Michelle Oakes is a poet pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston whose work has appeared in The Laurel Review and RHINO. She is a poetry editor for Gulf Coast: a Journal of Literature and Fine Arts and an instructor for the 2012 Boldface Conference. Michelle earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Missouri, where she was also Associate Editor of Pleiades: a Journal of New Writing. She taught at the River Oaks Elementary campus during Creative Writing Camp.

Scenes from Creative Writing Camp

Last Few Days of Summer

Posted August 13, 2012 & filed under Notebook.


Every time I walk in my room

I feel a great breeze of hot air
And a great pool of sunlight
That doesn’t make me freeze.
When I look at my bed
I see only one layer of blankets,
And if I look at the ceiling
I see a fan blowing air.

Outside everyone plays in the water
Splashing each other,
Building sand castles,
Or laying on a chair
Feeling the nice warm sunlight.

I can feel the warm sunlight on me
As I walk toward the water.
I have pale skin,
But in the summer
It’s pretty red.

Does anyone have suntan lotion?

by Bryson, 3rd grade

Goodbye Vacation

Posted August 23, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Goodbye playing outside
with my friends and sister.
Hello test.
Goodbye making cakes!
Hello science test.
Goodbye Mexico!
Hello T.H. Rogers School.
Goodbye vacation,
Hurry back again!

By Angelique, 3rd grade

Photo by stopherjones via Flickr

Reading Inside

Posted January 28, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

I remember reading inside the cool living room on a hot summer day,
With my mom cutting fresh lettuce for dinner tonight,
With my grandmother humming an old song like a radio.
I remember reading inside the cool living room on a hot summer day,
With hundreds and hundreds of feet of damp grass in front of my eyes,
With the smooth eaves shaking as a light breeze blows, dancing on the wonderful stage.
I remember reading inside the cool living room on a hot summer day,
With my cousin playing a beautiful piano song,
With my mind calming down and my heart full of peace.
I feel there’s something around me, like a color.
Did you notice?

By Ashley, 6th grade

Photo by Chiot’s Run via Flickr

My Name is Memphis

Posted August 17, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

I was born in Gamma’s house and every time I spend the
night there she wakes up and cooks me sausage and grits.
I have a nephew named Jaden who I play ball with. My
favorite things to do are eat, watch TV, and play video games
all day. My favorite video game is Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtle Smash Up and Spiderman 1. My favorite subject is
math because it’s easy. Last summer
I went to Camp Periwinkle,
Houston Space Center, and
Schlitterbahn. At Schlitterbahn there was a
pirate ship that drops water on you and makes you forget
everything, but it didn’t make me forget because I am
hydro-dynamically designed. It was awesome!

By Memphis,
Age 8

Photo by Brandt Williams via Flickr

WITS at Discovery Green

Posted June 8, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

WITS leads weekly workshops at Discovery Green every Saturday from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM. It is a FREE drop-in program that takes place at Discovery Green in the Houston Public Library Express, located in the Lake House Building.
These workshops will be offered through the summer. There’s no sign up process. Parents who are interested can simply drop off their kids (grades 2-12) at the HPL building by 10:30 AM and pick them up by 11:30 AM. Each Saturday workshop is team-taught by 2 WITS writers. WITS will provide all necessary writing materials. Here’s a link to the Discovery Green website with a list of all their free programs.

The Dream

Posted June 7, 2010 & filed under Notebook.


[Photo by Jiro.h via Flickr]

As I lie in the soft grass,
Feeling the gentle breeze

I look up and watch
The puffed white clouds drifting in the air.

I group the softest clouds together
And dream.

In my dream I see everything
Close to me.

I am in the middle of the road,
On the right side of me is Seattle
On the left side of me is Texas.

In the air
I smell the wild jasmine flowers.

I hear my best friend’s loud voice
Calling my name.

And in the blue sky
I spot my special memory of me.

Dreamily I hear my favorite music
Flowing through the air.

I wish this dream had never ended
But it did.

I opened my eyes slowly
A big smile on my face.

From now on, I thought,
This place is all to me.

Kirthy, 6th grade
Inspired by Calder’s Mobile

This is the Place

Posted June 2, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

[Photo by Katarina via Flickr]

This is the place where green is
Animals roam free.
The trees blow in the wind.
This is the place where you are free of
work or school.
This is the place.

By Carlos, 4th grade

Houston Public Library’s Summer Program Enriches Young Readers

Posted May 26, 2010 & filed under Notebook.


June 1st –  August 1st, Houston kids can escape the summer heat and discover the enchanting world of “From Fables to Fantasy,”  the Houston Public Library’s free and fun-filled reading program open at 38 neighborhood locations. Parents can register online or at any HPL branch.

The summer reading program promotes literacy in children by rewarding them each time they finish a new book. When they read 5, 10, or 20 books, they are eligible to receive cool prizes, gift certificates to restaurants, passes to entertainment venues, circus tickets, and more. Children who read 20 books or more are entered in a drawing for major prizes as a HP mini netbook, board games, books, craft kits, and coupons. With special programs planned featuring magic and puppet shows, dance and theatrical performances, arts, crafts, and video games, there will be plenty to keep the entire family active before the next school year.

For more information, visit your local library, or register online.


Posted July 9, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

In the winter,
Footprints in the snow are always lost.
The snowstorm fills the fissures with cold, barren flakes.

But in the summer,
As the foliage gorges itself on the sweet water and the yielding sunlight that
Waltzes through the fertile canopy and brushes our skin,
We grow apart, and then again grow closer,
Caught in between the gentle dawn of spring and the drowsy dusk of autumn
Then turning our faces from the vivid, heated sky, away from the future,
And into transient, loving arms.

By Sophie, 10th grade
[photo by BenteMalm via flickr]