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In my story today, I focused on a group of teens who are trying to improve their English at Mira Mesa High this summer — and wrote some pretty amazing poetry in the process. Last night, I got to check out poems and prose from all six San Diego Unified high schools that hosted summer schools for English learners last night, at a showcase event at Centro Cultura de la Raza in Balboa Park.

There was Ugandan dancing that would make you dizzy, a heartfelt rendition of “Freedom” on guitar, and lots of poetry. I captured a little bit of the event on my phone before it went dead. (Alas, it died before the Ugandan dancing and the guitar. Sorry, folks.)

Here’s Gladys Lapada, who is quoted in my story and who still claims, completely improbably, that she is shy. I also caught some of a poem titled “I Don’t Understand” by a Hoover High student from Albania, and an impressive prose piece with some heavy topics by a San Diego High student. Enjoy!

— EMILY ALPERT

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