Lakewood residents and school students were invited in 2003 to share their thoughts and memories in pre-anniversary programs called Take Your Place in History and The Write Stuff. These essays, collected with the generous help of the Macerich Company (owners of Lakewood Center), were put online as part of the city’s celebration of its 50th anniversary of incorporation.

Using a kit of informational materials about Lakewood and prompts developed with the district’s curriculum team, students in grades 2 through middle school drafted their stories of growing up in Lakewood, their most memorable recollections as a Lakewood resident, and their hopes and dreams on the threshold of the city’s next 50 years.

"Living in Lakewood for thirteen years has been a tremendous experience. The clean surroundings, the comforts, and the friendliness of the people, have made living here an unforgettable experience. When I was small, my family and I always took evening walks after dinner. We enjoyed Lakewood’s refreshing environment: the dancing June bugs in June, the block parties lit by colorful fireworks in July, the rolling leaves in August, the exciting Halloween festivals in the park in October, and the glittering lights of Christmas in December. Throughout the years, we felt comfortable and secure in our neighborhood." Krista Acosta, DeMille Middle School

Sheryl Musicant Stewart, who coordinated The Write Stuff program for the city’s Community Relations Office, worked with LBUSD officials and the superintendent’s office in both the Bellflower and ABC districts to expand the essay program to more schools and more grades.

“We’re tremendously pleased with the work these creative young people have done. Parents and teachers should be proud of the observations of the students who participated in the program and their ability to express their feelings in writing.”

"From sports teams to camps Lakewood is all about having fun. At parks, they have special classes for adults and kids. For kids there are teams like soccer, baseball, and cheer leading; there are dance classes for kids too. Adults have special classes like fitness classes, and craft classes. Joining a team is so much fun! Going to dance class is another great experience for anyone and everyone. When it’s hot out go to the pool and jump in. Lakewood is full of fun for everyone!" Jessica Sanchez, James Monroe School

Students who participated received a certificate and a token of the city’s appreciation – a pencil that says, “You’ve got The Write Stuff!”

These are indexed by school. Within each school index, the essays are arranged by grade and author’s last name.

Take Your Place in History Community Essays

These essays, written by Lakewood residents, include those received as typed or handwritten hard copy and those sent electronically. The three archives A-I, J-Q, and R-Z must be opened individually and viewed to find a particular essay. The essays are arranged alphabetically by last name. The authors who submitted their essay electronically are listed in the 'Indexed by author' archive. This archive can be opened and searched in Acrobat Reader using the "binocular" button.

A to I: Essays from Take Your Place in History(PDF, 2MB)

J to Q: Essays from Take Your Place in History(PDF, 848KB)

R to Z: Essays from Take Your Place in History(PDF, 461KB)

Take Your Place in History essays (Indexed by author)(PDF, 219KB)

The Write Stuff Student Essays

Aloha Elementary Essays(PDF, 951KB)

Artesia High School Essays(PDF, 2MB)

Cleveland Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 1MB)

Cleveland Elementary School (October 2003)(PDF, 1MB)

DeMille Middle School (October 2003)(PDF, 3MB)

DeMille Middle School Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 638KB)

Foster Elementary Essays(PDF, 4MB)

Gompers Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 2MB)

Gompers Elementary Essays (October 2003)(PDF, 2MB)

Holmes Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 243KB)

Holmes Elementary Essays (October 2003)(PDF, 4MB)

Hoover Middle School Essays(PDF, 1MB)

Intensive Learning Center Essays(PDF, 2MB)

Lakewood Elementary Essays(PDF, 1MB)

Lakewood High School (October 2003)(PDF, 6MB)

Lindstrom Elementary Essays(PDF, 1MB)

MacArthur Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 341KB)

MacArthur Elementary School (October 2003)(PDF, 2MB)

Madison Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 703KB)

Madison Elementary School (October 2003)(PDF, 6MB)

Mayfair Middle School Essays(PDF, 1MB)

Melbourne Elementary Essays(PDF, 1MB)

Monroe Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 4MB)

Monroe Elementary Essays (October 2003)(PDF, 3MB)

Palms Elementary Essays(PDF, 3MB)

Riley Elementary Essays (April 2003)(PDF, 746KB)

Riley Elementary Essays (October 2003)(PDF, 2MB)

Williams Elementary Essays(PDF, 5MB)

Willow Elementary Essays(PDF, 1MB)