Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

I think the Portland Housing Authority should show some faith in the kids of the Sagamore Village community by building us a new playground.

The kids loved the old playground so much. In the summer the kids would go there and play together and make new friends. When they took out the playground, the kids had nothing to do, especially in summer.

In the summer, the kids don’t go to the boys and girls club or study center, so they stay home all day. They don’t have anywhere to go. The Hall School playground is too small.  Also, we don’t go to the playground at Hall School because it’s in the woods and scary.

When it gets dark outside, people start to smoke, and that’s something I don’t want my little sister to see. The playground at Hall School is not safe for kids.

There are a lot of things we can do to help the community, and a playground in the big field would be a big help. First, we could rebuild the playground the way it was before.

If we did this, we would get a chance to know other families. If we knew the other families in the community, we could all help each other in case anything happened.

Having a close and tight-knit community is important and is an idea that was held by Martin Luther King Jr. When we had the playground before, kids were a lot happier, and happiness is important. 

Things would change for the better if we had our playground back. Kids would feel safe, and nobody would worry about the kids anymore. Kids would have somewhere to go to play and be safe.

By having a new playground, kids would be less likely to do drugs. By taking the first step and giving us a new place to play, the community would build a staircase for a better tomorrow.

– Angelique Nagikundiro, 15,

Sagamore Village


When I grow up I want to be a firefighter or a teacher, but my favorite thing would be to play in the NBA.

I’m so good at basketball. I have good skills, but I need more training to be faster. If I want to be better I would put a big rock in my backpack and start running around the block.

If I want to be a teacher I have to listen in class, and have good grades. I will need to go to a good college, and don’t do drugs. If I want to be in the NBA, they’re going to check my grades, too.

The one thing I would do to improve my neighborhood would be to call my friends and clean it up. We do it sometimes. I see a lot of people just throwing trash on the ground.

I tell them to pick it up, but they don’t pick it up. Instead, they laugh and leave. Then I tell them it is not good for the animals. Even some companies and factories pollute the water, and it is not good for the water.

– Bilal Abdi, 12,

Sagamore Village


If there was one thing that would improve life in my neighborhood it would be to improve the school bus system.

The problem I see with the school bus system are that the buses don’t come on time most of the times; sometimes the bus doesn’t come at all because of the bus breaking down and other things.

Sometimes the bus driver doesn’t wait for the students when they’re running after the bus. There are no afternoon buses every day, so students who do sports and clubs do not always have a ride so they don’t participate.

Most schools don’t have school buses for students that live far, and most students sometimes do not go to school and get education because they miss the bus.

I think that there are several things that can be improved with the school bus system. I think that the bus should come every day no matter what.

If the bus doesn’t come because of breaking down and other things, the people from the school like the secretary should call another bus driver who is not busy to come pick the students up. There are several other things to improve it, too. I think that the bus should wait for the kids, and if they don’t come they should go to their house. They should also take attendance to see who’s here or not.

There should be an afternoon bus for every day, and I really think that there should be an afternoon bus for every student who isn’t close to the school.

There should be a school for just kids who play sports so they don’t have to worry about transportation. Last, I think that there should be two buses: one that comes early, and one that comes late so people who miss the first one can still get to school.

As you all can see there are a lot of things to improve about the school bus system, and I wish that the school would change all these things and change it to what I wrote to improve it in their new rules.

By having better transportation, in the long run, it would really help students get to school better. Also, if students get better transportation, parents won’t have to worry about their children getting to school.

It would develop a student’s attendance, and students would do better at school.

Also, if students do well at school, they would have a better chance of graduating and getting in to college. When the students are all done with college they would get a good job and live a successful life.

– ZamZam Abdi, 12,

Sagamore Village


I have a lot of friends and family here. I love this community because they let me wear whatever I want and there is a lot of diversity and different religions.

It is safe here, and there are a lot of things to do. In the summertime there is a soccer team that we can play on, and also we have the Boys and Girls Club and a study center.

At the study center they help us with our homework. This helps us to do well in school, which helps us to have a good life.

I like how everyone knows each other because everyone cares about each other. If someone is missing, everyone would help to find her or him.

Also, if someone dies, everybody comes with food and support. In the summertime they have a lunch program, so people can come and have a free lunch and everybody comes to it.

On the last day of the lunch program there is a big party, and you can bring friends from other communities, and there are prizes and a lot of food, and it’s a lot of fun.

– Soleil Kinyana, 16,

Sagamore Village


Martin Luther King Jr. was a person who inspired everyone in the world to have equality. He was a visionary man who envisioned a better future for the United States of America.

He led marches, gave speeches, and did everything else he could to make his dreams come true. In fact, he had a speech about dreams regarding his children playing with the opposite race and people getting along with one another.

The Civil Rights Era had a lot of movements. For example, those pushed by Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, who all set examples for future generations.

The movements have influenced me to be accepting of others, no matter what background they come from.

I am aware that discrimination is occurring in my everyday life. Martin Luther King Jr.  said to be equal with one another. Well, to me I think society needs to improve on that issue.

I believe that people should follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s advice and stand up for what they believe in.

– Julian Oum, 18,

Sagamore Village


What I like about my community is everybody is treated the same. We can get along very well.

In my community, nobody makes fun of who you are, what you do, or where you’re from. Most of us are from different places, so differences are accepted. There are no bullies.

The reason that I think it’s a good community is one day I went to a different community, and kids were swearing and hitting each other. Then I realized that my community is not that bad.

– Estella  Mutoni, 9,

Sagamore Village


What I like about my community is that I have a lot of  friends, and they’re nice to me.

I am happy that my community is the way it is. Yes, I am happy because it is the way  it is.

Shukri Abdi, 7,

Sagamore Village


For my community I want there to be good people.

For them I hope it gets better.

I want my community to be a better place.

I want a better life for them.

I want it for my family and other people, too.

– Sifa Ngoboka, 7,

Sagamore Village


A problem I see in my community is littering.  If one person throws trash on the ground, others will do the same if they see it, and there will be a lot of trash.

If a lot of people do the same thing, copying each other, and not helping out with the cleaning, Sagamore can become a landfill of trash, and that will be bad.

There are many things that can be done to get rid of the problem. Some things that can be done would be to put more trash cans in the neighborhood, and put up signs saying, “Please don’t litter,” and teach the community people on how littering can be bad.

I think doing these things will not only help improve the look of the community but also help the little kids understand why littering is a bad thing.

– Kaltumo Omar, 8,

Sagamore Village


What I like about my community is that no one can say, “No black people allowed,” or “No girls allowed,” and you can play with anyone.

In my community, I like that there is a study center and a Boys & Girls Club. You can go there any time you can. You can choose to go every day or some days.

At the Boys & Girls Club we play games, like Wii games, board games and computer games. We get free snacks, too.

In the study center I like that you get help with your homework, instead of trying to do the work when you don’t even know what it is about. In the study center we do some projects and they are fun.

If I didn’t have the study center or the Boys & Girls Club, I wouldn’t get help with my homework. This is important, because in middle school you can get detention for not doing it, which is not good.

These are good places for kids to go, because you can learn about something and go hang out where you don’t get into trouble. Also, everyone there is happy, and they’re nice people.

If you don’t go to these places, it’s not bad, but you can make some friends over there, have fun and you can do other stuff.

– Suleka Abdi, 10,

Sagamore Village