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Middle School Students Write Book Highlighting Cultural Diversity

A reception will be held Friday for 52 middle-grade students who co-wrote an oral history about their culturally diverse Encanto neighborhood and had it published as a book.

"What I Leave With You" will be featured as part of the 45th annual Local Authors Exhibit at the downtown Central Library, and will later be displayed at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library.

The students, in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades at O'Farrell Community School, interviewed an important adult in their life and ended up with stories both inspiring and heartbreaking, according to computer teacher Ray Kinne, who helped lead the project.


"Since Encanto is so ethnically diverse, many of the interviews were conducted in Vietnamese, Tagalog, Laotian, Somali, Spanish, Amharic and Khmer," Kinne said. "The students then translated the stories into English and edited the final written product."

The book was published by Infinity Publishing, a self-publishing firm, and is available online at and