Middle School Students Receive Miami-Dade Youth Fair Judge's Award for Poetry

Daniella Strohli (7th Grade), Devorah Benveniste (6th Grade), Ali Smith (8th Grade)

Mazal tov to 8th grader Ali Smith, 7th grader Daniella Strohli, and 6th grader Devorah Benveniste for winning the Judge's Award for their poetry submissions to the Miami-Dade Youth Fair.  This prestigious recognition is a wonderful validation of their hard work and skillful writing.  Please enjoy their poems:

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A Friendship's Winter, Devorah Benveniste, (6th Grade)


A Friendship’s Winter

Friendship is Spring

It is bright red berries and thick green leaves

It is songs and dancing and joy

It is to hug and to comfort

To be connected twins who will never come apart


Summer blossoms

Fruity scents waft in the air

Freedom soars across the world

Endless days to run, swim, and sing

Countless hours to dash between the trees

While the squirrels gather nuts

We gather experiences


Fall tiptoes in

The leaves change color

Over time, they die, they fall off

The wind is distant

A chill elbows me

The howls of a frosty breeze slither in

Fun and laughter have been set aside


Blizzards blow into a Winter frost

Joy flurries to gloom

Friendship freezes

And is buried deep within the snow

Unlikely to emerge


A snow pile we are

I dig and dig

But you still do not

Is the ice too hard?

We are frozen


The world is dark and grey

The wind growls from the threatening clouds

The snow blocks my sight

But I still see you

I want to keep going

But thick, icy piles restrain me

I dig


Will you dig

Will we meet at the end

With a new beginning


When spring arrives

And the thawing of ice


Should our friendship be rebuilt

Or should we remain forever apart

And frozen

By: Devorah Benveniste, 6th Grade


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Alone, Daniella Strohli (7th Grade)



Alone, all alone

All you see is darkness, although you are glistening with hope

Cold, frozen ice falling, darkening with each drop, echoing in the silence

As though white little clouds fall from the sky

Blinded, you can not see anything nor anyone

Darkness consumes everything around you

Yet you shine with a soft silver glow

To help you seek what you are looking for

What are you looking for, whom are you looking for?

Solemn and separated from everyone else

You reluctantly accept your fate to be alone

Yet in all the darkness you see a light

It is faint and distant but it is there

Thousands of little stars

Trying to reach out to you

Pulling you away from the dark

Your arms becoming a tug-o-war game

With one final pull

The light wins you over

Your world illuminated

You see clearly

You feel finally

You are not alone

By: Daniella Strohli, 7th Grade

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If Only They Knew, Ali Smith (8th Grade)


If Only They Knew

Anxiety slowly, steadily creeps through the cracks in her slightly shattered mind

Although once untouched, it has now been indented with creases ever so perfectly prepared for a flood of emotions to arrive, she is trapped, no way out of the feelings she is about to endure, if only they knew

She considers that others may not feel as if their thoughts are like wildfire spreading through a forest but dismisses this simple thought and moves on with her day

She attempts to take deep breaths as she tries to quiet the millions of thoughts running through her head

An abrupt wave suddenly washes over her as she struggles to come to shore, and although she is concealed under the water, she is trapped, no way out of the feelings she is about to endure, if only they knew

She may ponder why this simple act of breathing is so strenuous and why she was not more grateful for it when it was just a simple moment in time

Dark, purple bags sag under both her eyes as she longs to close them, lay her head on her pillow and hide from all her troubles

Her hands begin to cramp from the worn down pencils she grasps each day and night as she works tirelessly to produce a simple letter on a paper

She feels the weight of those who love her, pressuring her to fulfill her potential and make them proud  

She stares at the blank pages for hours wondering what this is all worth, but she is trapped, no way out of the feelings she is about to endure, if only they knew

She wakes up with a pit in her stomach from just the thought of taking on the day

She slowly walks across the hall to her next class clutching her books, praying no one will say anything to her

She shuts her eyelids to conceal the somewhat subtle teardrops she is managing to trap inside

She fully comprehends that she will fall apart if she is exposed to but another comment, text, remark, but she is trapped, no way out of the feelings she is about to endure, if only they knew

She ponders if her heart is racing at a million miles a second or if the echo of the deafening, thumping pulses are overriding all other variables of her life for the moment

As we watch from a distance we compliment the beautiful young girl on her academic accomplishments, character, friendships, calmness, humor, and more, if only they knew.

By: Ali Smith, 8th Grade