By Mary O’KEEFE
Recently a reader of Crescenta Valley Weekly generously donated books to Mike Lawler, president of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley, they had purchased at an estate sale. The books followed the history of Montrose and La Crescenta from the mid to late 1930s.
Among the pages of pictures and writings was the story of the junior high and an essay contest on Americanism. Now, 80 years later, Rosemont Middle School is continuing with that competitive academic challenge by having students write about how to keep their school safe and how to get along with others.
Earlier this week Rosemont eighth graders Neinel Zani Estapanians and Kevin Zavier were announced as winners of the school’s Safe School Essay Contest.
“[I wrote about] how to create an [atmosphere] so [kids] can enjoy coming to school and they won’t have to worry every single day about being bullied or having problems at school,” Estapanians said.
Zavier’s wrote on the effects of bullying and how to avoid it.
“And how to get along with people better,” Zavier said.
Both students said they had seen bullying in the past
and knew how it affected students.
“I wasn’t in the situation of [being bullied] but I know how people felt who were. I wasn’t born here and when I came to [Rosemont] at first I had a feeling I wasn’t part of the school,” Estapanians said.
That feeling of being isolated and concern for safety is something both students included in their writing.
Estapanians said it was better for kids to prevent conflicts. For students to take an active role in stopping others, as well as themselves, from bullying.
Zavier added that at some point it is important to tell a teacher or another adult at the school.
“You can tell your teacher or we have The Box,” he said.
The Box is in the hallway outside the office. It is a place where students can place anonymous suggestions and concerns. In the past comments on drug abuse, school safety and other concerns have been placed in The Box. Each and every comment is gone through by staff and addressed.
Zavier said having a safe school helps kids study better. Estapanians agreed.
“It helps you study [if you feel safe]. If all you think about is not being bullied you are not putting your focus on your [school work] and your future,” she added.
The students were awarded two new bicycles that were donated by a business that wishes to remain anonymous.
Striving for academic excellence may have remained the same but the economy is a little different. The winners of the essay contest in 1937 were awarded $2 each.