2015 Peace Essay Contest: Primary Grade Winners

1st Place:  Kara Finley, gr. 1, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond
2nd Place:  Donnell Goode, gr. 2, Patrick Henry Charter School, Richmond Public Schools
3rd  Place: James Bae, gr. 1, Colonial Trail ES, Henrico Co. Public Schools
Honorable Mentions:
    Emerson Callis, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools;
    Josephine Deaner, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools;
    Elise Mackey, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools;
    Belle Morgan, , gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools


1st Place: Kara Finley, gr. 1, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond

Contagious Actions

Listen to Kara’s recording from WRIR

Our family already had two dogs when we rescued another one. We named him Roy. When we brought him home he was very scared and shy. This was a new environment. Roy was abused and someone left his harness on and it grew into him. He had to have three surgeries to fix him. The veterinarian let me go into the operating rooms to see how he was being fixed. He had staples holding his skin together. Thinking about how he was treated made me feel bad. It made me feel bad for all animals that are abused and abandoned. I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up.

Recently in school I learned about Martin Luther King Jr. He stood up for what he believed in and wanted to make a change. African Americans were not being treated fairly. They couldn’t go to the same schools, they couldn’t drink out of the same water fountains and couldn’t have the same education. He didn’t think that this was fair. We are all people and he believed in equal rights for all people. He took action. He used his words not his fists to make a change.

We also learned about Harriet Tubman. She led the Underground Railroad. The slaves that were passengers on the Underground Railroad weren’t allowed to get an education because slave owners thought that they might take over and the slaves were treated horribly.

Once she escaped she helped many other people escape. After she helped many people escape she actually became a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She took action too.

Harriet Tubman risked her life for others. She was selfless and when she made it to Pennsylvania she decided she wanted to help others escape. Martin Luther King had strong beliefs and he stood up for what he believed in. He didn’t just say it was a dream he made it real. He gathered people who wanted to make that change too and he led many marches. He was a leader.

I started to wonder what I could do. My mom and I looked for a charity where I could volunteer my time but I was too young for every single one we found, I was only 6. I came across this charity that helps animals that have cancer. It is called Fetch a Cure. I decided that if I couldn’t donate time I would donate money. I wanted to donate to this charity. I started to collect donations. I went door to door and asked family members to donate. I sent letter s to people I knew. Then it was my birthday and I had the idea to ask my friends to donate to Fetch a Cure instead of brining presents to my party. I raised $1,500 for Fetch a Cure.

Being selfless is a better prize than getting presents, you get to bring happiness to others. Hopefully my actions would inspire other people to be selfless and be contagious.



2nd Place: Donnell Goode, gr. 2, Patrick Henry Charter School, Richmond Public Schools

“Inspiration for a Better World”

I am inspired by the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He inspires me because he was a rightful and Godly man, as well as, a civil rights leader. I believe that his messages came from God. Dr. King helped people believe in themselves and things even when you cannot see them. He marched so that we can vote, eat where we want, travel the way we want, go where we want, better jobs for everyone, equally.

What I learned from him is that we are the same inside and out. He motivates me to get a good education, stay focused and to be the best man that I can be and never give up in what you believe is right. He inspires me to believe I can do all things through God and there is man greater than God. God sees all things, hears all things, and can make all things possible.

Being able to help people gives me energy to make our community better, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one the first people to talk about how the government spent money in the U.S. and was not able to help the poor and hungry no matter what color they were. Still today hunger is still a big deal in the world, “one in every five children are hungry…and that could be right in your neighborhood.”

Share a meal with anyone simply because you never know their situation. My mom always says “God gives us enough food to be a blessing to the next man just don’t waste my food, but we can share and feed someone anytime”. Every year that we have lived Richmond, my mom takes us to the Monroe Park to feed and pass out clothes to the homeless in November. She says this is another way to give back something that God has blessed us with. I feel good at the end that I was able to help someone else, and knowing that even if it was just for that one night they were not going to be hungry.


3rd Place: James Bae, gr. 1, Colonial Trail ES, Henrico Co. Public Schools

Listen to James’s recording from WRIR

The world would be a better place if we stopped destroying wild animals and their habitats. We need to stop polluting their environment with litter. This hurts and kills them. Also hunting is a horrible sport! It kills defenseless, innocent creatures. Because of us even our nation’s national bird the bald eagle is endangered. We are killing AWESOME creatures here!

This VERY second 1,000s of creatures are being killed. Just think, who is behind this? WE ARE! Animals are living things just like us. They have feelings, and we should keep it that way. Animals are loyal trusting creatures. For example my dog Griffin would not hurt a fly and every morning he checks on me to see that I am ok.

Jane Goodall inspires me. She thought that animals are like humans in a way and she tried to help save the wild primates. Helping animals inspires me to make my world a better place. Animals make the world a better place so we need to do something NOW!



Honorable Mentions:

Emerson Callis, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools

This is how I thought our community could be a better place. We could plant trees for better oxygen in the world. Also so animals have a home to live at.

The other thing is that there is no bullying. Bullying is not good because kids and adults can get hurt.

Once I gave away toys to Goodwill. This helps the kids who don’t have any money. Sharing toys is important to me because it makes children feel better.

We should reduce water and light because we need to save them.

We need to give away money to poor people because they need shelter to protect them to keep warm so they don’t freeze in the winter.

When I am done with any recyclable materials I will reuse them. It is important to me because we need to help our community.


Josephine Deaner, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools

Today we are writing about making our community a better place for animals, people and nature! The way to help animals is to give them to the zoo or to give them to people so they will have a home!

I’m going to help people by donating my things that I don’t need any more. Then I would sell goods and help people by doing services. I will do the services for free and also give out the goods for free!

I live in a better place by composting even though my family doesn’t compost. I’ll also say compliments to people to make them happy! Give goods out at a yard sale. Also don’t give out candy and give out healthy foods to people to help them have a balanced diet and be healthy.

Visit people that you know at the hospital to help them feel comfortable. If someone really wants something and you have money then give it to them.

Make sure to help people decide between hard choices. It’s important to take care of our community because we want healthy, happy and nice people in our world!



Elise Mackey, gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools

Making our community a better place is important to the world and we can help too. Like planting trees so the air stays clean and fresh. We can also make habitats for lost animals so they will have a home.

Here is another good one: poisons are going on that kill bugs which fish eat which birds eat the fish that kills the birds. We can help by not using that type of killer. But you are right. Buts can hurt the plants. So we can buy killer that fish are attractive to or just not buy killer at all if you like bugs.

We can also help by not using cigarettes. That will also help the air stay clean and fresh. Eeeew. What is that smell? Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you another important thing. Pleas do not litter because animals can think it is food and eat it and die. So if you see litter on the ground, pick it up!!!!!

But there is one more thing I want to tell you. Whenever you can use recyclable material so you do not have to buy everything. Making our community a better place is helping people and animals in the world.



Belle Morgan, , gr. 1, W. W. Gordon ES, Chesterfield Co. Public Schools

My community is where I live, work and play. To make our community a better place is to ride your bike more often than cars.

Do not smoke because it is bad for you and it can make the air dirty. You also need to not cut down trees because the leaves make the air and air helps us breathe.

Another thing is that you can compost because if you compost it helps our world.

Also you can give money to people that have no money.

If you find trash on the ground you should pick it up instead of leaving it alone.

I think that our community is important because it is where I live, work and play.