2013 Peace Essay Contest: First Place Winner Clarence Claiborne, Jr.

The theme for the 2013 Peace Essay Contest was “Learning to live in peace.”  The writing prompt asked students to write about the roles their families or other caregivers play in teaching them about peace and how this teaching affects their actions in the community and the world.  Winning essays are posted on our web site, and we’ll be using the first place winners as blog posts over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks the 25 judges who volunteered to read through 621 entries—the largest number in the 20+ year history of the contest, and to our Essay Contest Committee, who spent several month organizing and preparing for the event, with special recognition to Anne-Marie McCartan, our tireless committee chair.  And thanks the generous support of the Doherty Family Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, which makes this program possible.



First Place (Grades K-3): Clarence Claiborne, 3rd gr. Walnut Hill Elementary School, Petersburg Public Schools
Learning to Live in Peace

It was a sunny day after school. My homework was done, so I was able to play outside in my backyard. My friends came over and we started to play basketball. During the game I was pushed, and I fell to the ground. My favorite shoes were ruined!

“Foul!” I yelled. At first, I wanted to punch the person that had fouled me, but instead I thought about the consequences. My parents have always told me to not start fights, and this wasn’t a reason to fight. It was an accident. This was just a game and my shoes could be cleaned. If I had punched my friend, then our friendship could have been broken.

I learned to think before I react and to control my anger. My parents have also taught me to keep my hands and all other objects to myself. This keeps me from being suspended or expelled from school. If I’m at home playing, it keeps me from being punished. No one wants a friend or brother who is angry or bullies them all of the time.

Being peaceful, affects the person that I can become. If I am peaceful and calm it causes me to be a good citizen in school. That way I am able to receive a good education. If I receive a good education, then I can accomplish many goals. One of those goals could be becoming President of the United States of America. The President has to be peaceful and fair to all Americans and people of other countries.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of peace and equality. He wanted everybody of all races to get along and live in peace. He was unable to see his dream come true because he died. We remember what he stood for and try to live by his dream everyday! I am Clarence Claiborne, Jr. I am eight years old and I try my best to live in peace!


Read all the 2013 Peace Essay Contest Winners:

Primary Grade Winners

Elementary Grade Winners

Middle School Winners

High School Winners