2014 Peace Essay Contest Grade K-3 Winners

First Place, Aaryan Asthana, gr. 3,  Twin Hickory ES, Henrico Co.;

Second Place, Nikhita Saravanan, gr. 1, Short Pump ES, Henrico Co. Public Schools,;

Third Place, Molly Chapman, gr. 1, Pemberton ES, Henrico Co. Public Schools;


Honorable Mentions:

 Caroline Bowling, gr. 3, Rural Point ES, Hanover Co. Public Schools;

Luci Dulog, gr. 3, Homeschooled;

Brock Henderson, gr. 3, Homeschooled;

Lily Hubert, gr. 3, Rural Point ES


Aaryan Asthana- Grade 3, First Place, Twin Hickory ES Henrico Co.

Mahatma Gandhi: The Father of the Nation

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”- Albert Einstein.

On October 2, 1869, a baby in a small village of Porbandar, India was born and who ever knew that this baby would grow up to be an honored and respected leader, a person who changed millions of lives.

Mahatma Gandhi got married at an early age of 13 to Kasturba Gandhi and had four children. In 1888 he went to London to study at University College London. He studied the Indian Law and got trained to be a lawyer. After becoming a lawyer, he traveled to South Africa.

Mahatma Gandhi was sitting on a first class seat in a South African train when the ticket checker said, “You are not allowed to sit here because you are an Indian.” Gandhi was confused and said “No, I have a ticket and I should be treated without any racism.” He refused to get off the first class seat, so he was thrown out of the train. This incident made him feel enraged.

He challenged the Indians to react to this injustice and not allow the British do these dreadful actions. He asked them to burn the passes that the British instructed them to keep all the time. The pass was a symbol of discrimination. The Indian citizens agreed with Gandhi’s reasoning. Gandhi did a protest where the Indians asked for civil rights and he was jailed for that. There were lots of Indians who wanted to come to South Africa for work. Gandhi had a meeting with the British Empire’s executive. They had an agreement that only certain Indians were allowed to come to South Africa. All Indian prisoners in jail were set free and they were treated equally.

Mahatma Gandhi traveled to India by ship. India was ruled by the British Empire. He toured India and discovered that people in India were discriminated too. Indians were not familiar about how Gandhi stopped discrimination in South Africa. Only a few people knew.  One of them was Jawaharlal Nehru, who later became the first prime minister of India.

Once some Indians were having a meeting near a temple when the British army came and started shooting everyone. People ran for their lives, they jumped into wells and thousands of people died. One could see blood scattered everywhere. Mahatma Gandhi was infuriated and heartbroken at this incident. Indians wanted revenge and they started rioting. Gandhi exclaimed they should not fight back. He believed that if one uses violence they won’t be able to get the other person to agree with them, and make them understand their point of view. He told people, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

The Indians were still rioting. Mahatma Gandhi started fasting and wouldn’t eat or drink till they stop rioting. All the Indians heard that Mahatma Gandhi was fasting, and didn’t want him to die, so they stopped fighting back. This fast that Gandhi did was called “Satyagraha” (insistence of truth). Gandhi came up with a plan to get India independent once and for all. His plan was to follow “non-cooperation”, which meant not to cooperate with the British laws using non-violent means. He told the Indians to burn all the clothes the British gave them. He wanted them to stop buying clothes from the British so they would have a loss of money and stop ruling India. For the same reason, he told the Indians to start making their own salt. They had a huge parade to the Indian Ocean to make salt. It was called the “Dandi March”. It took the protesters 24 days and 240 miles to reach the ocean. From that point, India started making its own salt and clothing.

After years of protesting and diligence, India gained independence on August 15, 1947, based on these two virtues, non-cooperation and non-violence.

The qualities that helped Mahatma Gandhi succeed in his goal was “The Golden Rule” – treat others like you want to be treated and treat everybody equally. He believed in non-violence, because violence is unnecessary to achieve an outcome. Another quality that helped Mahatma Gandhi succeed was to never give-up. Never give up means not to quit until you achieved your objective. Mahatma Gandhi did not give up on non-violence, even though people were suggesting that they should fight back. Gandhi believed in truthfulness and was not afraid of what lay ahead in his path. He was not frightened of going to jail or getting beaten by the police.

We should always follow Gandhi’s principles in our lives like never giving up and non-violence. If a student is nervous for a test and doesn’t want to study for it, they should not give-up and still study. One should not hit people back if they hit them. If someone is sitting by themselves we should ask them to play. One should be honest and truthful because if they lie they can get in more trouble when someone discovers the truth. If someone is bullying, do not bully them back, and try to become friends with them. Just like Gandhi, also have a pure and kind heart.

In conclusion, Mahatma Gandhi was an exceptionally great patriot. He fought for equal rights in South Africa, and played a major role in India. Without a doubt, Mahatma Gandhi was a loyal and honored man.  As a student, I believe in this thought “See the good in people and help them.”

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Nikhita Saravanan, Second Place, Grade 1, Short Pump ES, Henrico Co. Public Schools

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu merchant family in coastal Gujarat. He was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, India. Gandhi grew up and became a businessman and a lawyer. Gandhi was known as Father of Nation in India.

From a very young age one of his accomplishments was that he didn’t break the Hindu religious beliefs by not eating meat. When his brother handed him some meat he did not take it. He stuck to his determination and remained a vegetarian all through his life even when he was studying law in England. Gandhi’s strong determination and sticking to his principle throughout his life had taught me to stay focused in my goal in order to achieve it.

Gandhi also told that “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi forgave everyone and proved that he was a strong and a good man. This is to forgive everybody and not to pollute our minds with unwanted hatred. In our community people who can help others are more needed than people who are weak-minded and bad.

Gandhi’s most important accomplishment was that he fought most of his life in a peaceful, non-violent way defending his country and the people’s rights. Gandhi has proved to people that there was more than one way to look at problems like non-violence, speaking truth always and self-determination.

Gandhi inspired great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks. People with strong values were inspired by good beliefs and even we can be inspired by his ideas to have a strong moral in our life.

Gandhi’s way of always speaking the truth has inspired me in my everyday life. Once a school inspector came to Gandhi’s school and dictated four English words. Gandhi wrote only three and he didn’t know the spelling for “kettle” – the fourth word. So Gandhi’s teacher asked him to copy from the student sitting next to him, but Gandhi did not want to cheat. So he accepted his inability and learned the word in an honest way. I am proud to say that I am already such an honest person following Mahatma Gandhi! Mahatma Gandhi’s words were “There is no God greater than truth.” He said this because he did not lie and he spoke the truth always. Gandhi was being honest to himself and to others. Honest people will drive the country in a righteous path and that is necessary in this world now.

In South Africa, Gandhi started an Ashram where he built a school for children. Gandhi had his own ideas about how children need to be taught. Gandhi disliked the examination system. In his school he wanted to teach students true knowledge – knowledge that improved their mind and hearts. I being an elementary school student don’t like the exams which mark and measure the ability of students just by the grades that we get. Children should learn in fun and relaxed way where they can gain knowledge rather than stress.

Gandhi always followed the principle of recycling the paper and not wasting them. Gandhi used to get many letters from his followers and various organizations. All were either printed or hand written half a page or one sided. So Gandhi used to cut the blank spaces and re-use the blank side of the paper. This is not to waste the paper and showed his followers how to lead a simple life. When I learnt about this event, I started re-using my dad’s computer printouts for my rough homework and craft works. Saving paper also saves trees.

As quoted by Gandhi “A Satyagraha has infinite patience, abundant faith in others and ample hope.” Gandhi has proved this statement true in his own life. The nonviolence showed the people the strength of unity, without shedding blood and life. In our present world, people kill each other for silly things and fight over trivial matters. If we follow the non-violence ideas now, world would be a lot better place to live.

Gandhi quoted that “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” When Mahatma Gandhi told his idea of non-violence some people laughed about what he said. But his determination made him win. Likewise when somebody bullies us by ignoring, laughing or fighting with us, we should stay focused in our goal, so that we can also win.

I am always inspired by Gandhi’s whole life and sacrifice to the nation. I wrote about only a few important points from Gandhi’s life that I think are necessary for this world now. I am sure that all the principles of Gandhi are worth to follow to lead a peaceful life.

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Molly Chapman, Third Place, Grade 1, Pemberton ES, Henrico Co, Public Schools

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. wanted equal rights for black and white people. One day a black woman was sitting on the bus when a white man wanted to sit there. He said “get up” but she said “no.” And she went to jail. When the black people heard this they stopped getting on the bus. And Martin Luther King Jr. told them to walk so they did. The bus stopped getting money. They were hurting the bus company without using their fists. He said “no.” They listened. He wanted to spread this, but some white people did not like this. So they killed him.

I want everyone to have equal rights everywhere, so we can live on a better planet. It is better that way. I wish the world was a good place to live for everyone! And black and white people could live in peace. I imagine one day a person will stand up to all slavery and make peace for everyone. So slavery will not be the way to go!

But here’s the thing, I want to be that person! I want equal rights just like Martin Luther King Jr. When I grow up I will try to follow his footsteps. I will travel around the world to stop slavery! Even though I am white, I can still stop slavery by standing up for people! Stand up to all ages, all grades, everyone! When you make a group you are powerful! But I don’t mean hurt them with your fists. I mean like how Martin Luther King hurt the bus company. Because I do not want anyone to get hurt anywhere. If I get to be where I want to be, I promise I will not hurt anyone!

But there is one job that can do this, but it does not exist! But, it would be the President of the World! If I was it, the slaves would be free and the world would be the best planet. I would stop people from getting hurt or getting robbed! It would be awesome!


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Caroline Bowling- Grade 3, Honorable Mention, Rural Point ES, Hanover Co. Public Schools

Mother Teresa: Kind and Loving

Mother Teresa has done many things. Mother Teresa was a teacher, a nun, a saint, a peacemaker, and a prize winner.

Mother Teresa has accomplished many things such as building homes for the poor, Medical centers, Learning centers, homes for people infected with leprosy, an orphanage, and shelters for women and children. Mother Teresa has won many awards too, such as the Padma Shri award, Pope John XXII Peace Prize, and Albert Schweitzer’s International Price, Pacem in Terri’s Award, Blazon Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize, Golden Honor of the Nation (Albania), and the honorary of the USA.

The qualities that I think helped her succeed are wisdom and courage because she found what she needed to do to make the world a better place and she was always brave enough to stand up to people even when times were rough.

Something I think I could do as a kid right now is on birthdays or even regular days I could give up toys and food to the poor that have none at all.

Some things that Mother Teresa has said are “do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. The most terrible poverty is loneliness and being unloved. The biggest diseases is not tuberculosis or leprosy, but rather the feeling of being unwanted. If we accept a mother can kill her own child how can we tell people not to kill one another?”

Mother Teresa died in 1997 from a heart attack but we still must remember her in our hearts and mind.

How do you think you can help make the world a better place? Share your thoughts with your friends and family. Maybe you could have a lemonade stand and give the money you earn to people in need or to a charity. You could also ask the principal of your school to start a fundraiser for St. Jude’s hospital or ship food to India to give to the poor.

When you grow up you don’t have to devote all your life to other people, you could be a vet and help animals. You could even be a doctor. If you are those things you are helping people and animals. If you’re an author or you’re striving to be one you’re helping people get educated because if you’ve been told a book can teach you anything. If you want to be a builder, a builder helps people by providing shelter for them. You could be an engineer by thinking of how to make the world a better place to live in by providing needs, wants, and goods. Any job that is providing a service is a job that can help other people. Service means someone or something is providing wants. Needs, or goods.

How’s your character? Is it nice, joyful, jolly, and merry or is your character rude, unkind, mean and a bully? Well all of us have at least one thing of those different types of character but the way to decide which one we are is by the way we act the most. Mother Teresa was probably sometimes a little bossy or rude but most of the time she had awesome character. That’s why Mother Teresa was such a good peacemaker.

One day I hope that I can be like Mother Teresa and make others feel loved and wanted. I will also try to help others escape the feeling of poverty.

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Luci Dulog, Grade 3, Honorable Mention, Homeschooled

Peace Essay on Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger was a folk song writer who thought the world could be a better place if we could work out our problems in a peaceful way. He wrote songs that told stories that show us what happens when we don’t learn our lessons and keep fighting instead of working out our problems.

Pete Seeger was a selfless person, who risked giving up his chance to become a popular songwriter because he spoke up about his opinions. He was brave, courageous, confident, and hopeful that people would respect people and their rights and treat them the way they want to be treated.

We can learn from Pete Seeger to work out our problems and listen to his message that says that everyone can work out their issues in a nonviolent peaceful way. Being like Pete Seeger would make this a better place because we would be more respectful to others.

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Brock Henderson, Grade 3, Honorable Mention, Homeschooled

Martin Luther King Spread Peace

Martin Luther King accomplished lots of things in his life. He earned the Nobel peace prize. He fought with love not fists for civil rights. His marches helped change laws. His work helped get rid of whites only signs. Then everyone could drink from public water fountains and eat in all restaurants. He changed the way most people look at black people. He also changed how most blacks view themselves in America. He wanted people to look at your character not your skin color. We all can decide to have good character. Nobody picks their skin color.

He was a good leader that did not use angry words. It is not always easy to avoid angry words when people are not nice.   This is the biggest way we can all follow his example. We can all use words to inspire people not enrage them. If we show respect to everyone, we spread peace just like Martin Luther King.

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Lily Hubert, Grade 3, Honorable Mention, Rural Point ESRosa Parks: A Peacemaker

Rosa Louise Parks was a peacemaker. She did not think segregation was right.

Rosa accomplished many things. One thing she accomplished is she helped end bus segregation. Rosa and Martin Luther King Jr. started a boycott. That is the main thing.

In order to end bus segregation you have to have courage. The way Rosa had courage was when she said “No.” She did not want to move to another seat. That is an example of nonviolence. You also have to have bravery. Rosa was brave to say “No.” To have bravery or courage you have to have wisdom. Rosa Parks believed in herself. She would not give up until everyone was equal.

There are many ways to be a peacemaker. Everyone should treat people fairly no matter what their race. All people of different races can be friends with one another. That is how we can all be peacemakers.

I look forward to help change the USA. I know Rosa Parks did. I hope I can be like her one day. I personally feel everyone should.


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