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Dedicated in loving memory to Dr. Jacob Littleton and Grace Hwang, lovers of words who saw hope in every child.


Dear Readers,

This first issue of Spilt Arts represents not only the last ten months of hard work, but also a lifetime for me. Our program is very dear to my heart, as I was an English language learner when I first started school. Through hard work and a love of reading and writing, I was able to overcome academic and social obstacles. Many of the children we encounter have similar beginnings and our staff at Spilt Arts is honored to present their writings and musings.

I first realized the powerful effect words have on people, when we were assigned to write a Halloween story in third grade. As an only child, I had a very active imagination and ended up writing a psychological thriller which left the majority of my class in tears. I never got to finish reciting my tale, as our teacher asked me to stop for fear of having thirty crying students on her hands. It was at that moment when I began to realize how words can impact people. They can make us laugh, cry, and hopefully, think. Words help us dream and hope. They inspire us to be better people and nurture our creativity. And in my case, words can traumatize a room full of eight year olds.

It is often said that children are more honest than adults and will tell you the truth no matter what. The following writers are offering you a glimpse into their worlds and imagination. Whether fiction or nonfiction, their words are commanding, insightful, and honest. Our featured writer, Torieauna Hilbert, is an extraordinary young woman, whose work is refreshingly candid and dynamic. Yosselyn and Yvonne, both only sixteen years old, have contributed poetry about their experiences as human trafficking victims. By expressing themselves through writing, they are defeating their demons and we not only consider them survivors, but role models. We hope you enjoy reading their words and reflecting on what really matters in life-the ability to overcome and change lives.

Thank you for your support and happy reading!

Sincerely Yours,

Christina Han