Slippery scaly lizards scurry
Across the hard hot rocks

And, while I watch the wind swirls
And plays with my hands.

I listen to the loud chirps of small birds
As they peck at the tiny seeds
That lay on the Earthy soft soil

– Ariana B., Yucca Valley Elementary

During the 2022-2023 school year, MDLT was lucky to work with passionate students from Yucca Valley Elementary, Cesar Chavez Elementary, San Jose Charter Academy, and La Contenta Middle School through our Desert Discovery Field Studies (DDFS) program. Their poetry and expressive illustrations provide insight to their experience growing up in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.

Many thanks to Rich Soos, our partner Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library for bringing one of our Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics
(STEAM) lessons to life in the Autumn 2023 edition of Cholla Needles: Young Writers and Artists magazine!

Copies of the magazine are available for purchase online. This project was funded in part through grants from the Inland Empire Community Foundation and the Society for Science. Funding for the August 2023 issue of Cholla Needles was also lovingly provided by Bonnie Bostrom, George Kirk, Peter Nash, and Janet Tucker.

From Our Partners

The Desert Discovery Field Studies program provides students from underserved desert communities with an innovative way to learn about desert ecology and conservation. This immersive program helps students become inspired advocates for the desert they call home.

This month, Joshua Tree Voice is featuring art and poetry from Madison.

“In her poem, Madison writes about how she saw snakes, what she smelled, and what she touched during our time together in class. Madison created a work of art that displays her great understanding of the desert ecosystem. It features kangaroo rats and snakes, along with her touching rocks. Madison is able to convey what she learned in a way that is multifaceted. She is a great writer and artist; she is a very smart and talented student. I am very proud of her work.”
– Mary Cook-Rhyne, Education Programs Manager

From Our Partners