The School Zone: News


A fourth-grader at Spring Branch Elementary whose poem about Mexico was picked earlier this year for special publication was chosen again for broadcast recently on FOX TV 26’s weekly My20 show airing Thursdays.

Itzel Ramirez recited her poem, Mexico the Beautiful, which states:

Mexico is a beautiful place.

There’s lots of space and delicious foods to taste.

People and kids enjoying this magical place.

Lots of caves to explore these days.

There are lots of plants wherever you go.

Cacti, agave, and orchids all grow.

Orchids are beautiful flowers that bloom.

So beautiful just like the moon.


Itzel was one of 15 students published earlier this year in the iWRITE nonprofit group’s 10th annual student anthology. The nonprofit is collaborating with the local FOX 26 and My20 on a Classes at Home initiative to offer educational and fun television programming for area children every Thursday at noon.

“Our organization strives to support students of all backgrounds and help them grow their confidence through writing,” said Melissa Williams Murphy, iWRITE founder and children’s author.

Murphy also said that she hoped the weekly TV shows “will spark inspiration, practice critical thinking and help students avoid major learning loss through entertaining lessons designed for students to watch and learn independently.”

Many of the published Spring Branch Elementary students worked on their stories and poems with Chaquitha Cherry, who is an instructional specialist at the school. Itzel was also assisted with her poem by her writing teacher, Natalie Johnson, and her reading teacher, Kayleigh McCormac.

Student writing and poetry has remained a bright spot and passion for Cherry as the classroom has moved online in recent weeks. Her budding writers and poets have met in Zoom sessions since the pandemic suspended regular classes.

Many Spring Branch Elementary find inspiration and shelter in writing, especially as adult-level issues like paying rent and finding enough food disrupt family lives.

“Frankly, my only real sense of normalcy is with my iWRITE kids,” Cherry said in a brief telephone interview. “We’ve had about five Zoom meetings so far, and I do like to use our meetings to show them what a new form of communication looks like, and how it might be used to tell and share their own stories.”

The COVID-19 crisis has shattered a sense of normalcy for many of her students.

“They are hearing so many adult things,” Cherry said. “The meetings with iWRITE kids is my passion project. It’s one fun way for all of us to escape and find normal once again.”

View and read Itzel Ramirez’s poem in the anthology.

To learn more about iWrite, visit

To learn more about iWRITE Classes at Home, view this news release.