Honorable Mention
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Honorable Mention

Evelyn Simone Gittens

Barrett Elementary
3rd Grade – Mrs. DeHaro

“This Land Is Your Land” is my favorite patriotic song.  It reminds me of my 3rd grade class, and our new student who joined us only a month ago.  Our new classmate only speaks Spanish.  In the song, “This Land is Your Land”, it has the message that no matter where you come from, or where you go, America belongs to everyone.  We learned that our new friend came with his big brother to America to live with his dad. He had to leave his mom and his dog behind in Mexico, but he and his brother knew they would be safer here in America than at home.  When I think about leaving my mom and pets, it makes me really sad, but I am very glad that my new classmate is safe.

When I think about my new friend and classmate I want to tell him that the song stands for the idea that in America everyone is welcome and here in America they can be themselves and still practice their culture. We try to make our new classmate feel welcome every day we are together at school.  Because we don’t speak each other’s language, my friends and I do things like play together with him and goof around in the brunch line.  We play games on the computer and teach him English.  Our teacher helps him log on to the Chromebook so he can learn new words.  Our teacher also talks to the class in both English and in Spanish so our new classmate understands what we are doing.  I have other classmates who can translate when other teachers at our school need help talking to him.  If it were not for my new classmate I would not hear Spanish and have a chance to learn about a culture that is different from my own.  There are a lot of patriotic songs that could be used for the essay topic, but I chose “This Land is Your Land” because it reminds me of my classmate and how glad I am to be in the class that got to welcome him to America.