Citizen Writer Challenge
Free To Winners
The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens five important freedoms: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Assembly, and the Right to Petition. We want you to exercise your freedom with this prompt. Write a short essay or article about an issue that is important to you. Demonstrate your knowledge of the topic and use persuasive language to build a strong case for your point of view. Note: this essay/article can be about an issue that is important to you, to your local community, or the whole country.
K-Grade 2 (Level I)
How are you different? Do you have wheels or a different race? Do you need help or are you adopted? You can be different in many ways. People can be poor and not have enough food, so they share. It's OK to share a meal with someone you love and to think about someone you love.
If everyone was the same we could not tell each other apart. In school if we had the same name, when the teacher called, everyone would come at the same time. Would you like playing with another version of you? That is what will happen if everyone is the same.
People should know it's ok to be different because everyone is different in different ways. If you think it is not ok to be different, think about how you would feel if someone said to you: you can't be here because you are different. If you ever get teased because of who you are, tell them to stop. If they do not stop by the third time, tell a teacher.
Have you heard about the book, "It's ok to be different," by Todd Parr? It is a great book. I recommend this book for people who are different or for people who think it is not ok to be different.
Grades 3-5 (Level II)
Don't you ever get worried about how life is? But who is worried about the animals? There are animals such as dogs, cats and others abandoned in the streets. When this is happening I am wondering "Who will we put a stop to this?" Some of the animals may die of hunger and some may have accidents. This can lead to extinction for these animals. It's important to have these animals since they are part of our ecosystem. Animals really deserve to have their rights, to eat food until their belly is full and to have a nice warm place to sleep. Read on if you want to know more reasons about why these animals need to have a caring owner and not be abandoned in the streets.
Animals have a heart too you know. They need to be loved and cared for like how we are by our mothers and fathers. What if you were a cat or dog and abandoned in the street, would you like it? I don't think you would. We have to save these animals, save them from the dirty streets, and give them clean water to drink. These animals deserve everything they need just like us. We have food and shelter. At least give an abandoned animal a piece of ham or bread. You don't know what it feels like to be abandoned. We all have to gather up and make a plan, a plan to save all these lonely, hungry, and homeless animals.
Here's what we have to do. We have to build a shelter in a place somewhere where the animals can have food to eat, a warm home and place to walk around and to interact with each other. The shelter needs to have caring, and loving people to take care of them unlike in other shelters that some of the people that work there don't care about the animals hearts. I know there are shelters out there but I don't like how the animals are treated in them. If I were to have a shelter, I would have separate play yards for the animals to play with chew toys that will be there for them and to interact with other animals of their types. I would play with them as much as I can until I have to go home and rest for the next day. They would have plenty of food. To them it probably wouldn't seem like a shelter. It would seem like the best home they could ever have with a caring owner that seems like their mother. That's how much these animals would love the shelter. And you know what? They would probably even forget about the horrid in one part of their lives. They might not even want to leave if they got adopted. But getting adopted would be great, especially if it's adopted by a loving and caring family. Now you know how all these animals will be taken care of in the future. You will walk in the street and never see an abandoned animal ever again.
We should all work together and save these animals. If these animals become extinct, food chains will be broken and it's possible that we won't have food to eat anymore. Not only think of yourself but think of others in need such as these animals. Please help save these animals in need.
Grades 6-8 (Level III)
Grades 9-12 (Level IV)
We were driving to a park in Nashville, Tennessee; we were on our way to the art fair that we were working at for the second day. Traffic was heavier than normal and we were worried that we were going to be late. I looked out the window at the same time that my dad did to see a man dressed in old and worn out clothes standing on the ledge of a bridge that stood over the rather large highway. The man had not shaven in quite some time. His beard was way past just a five, o clock shadow. He looked thin and I remember seeing half of his face as he stood looking over the ledge. What little part I could see made me flinch it had no emotion, yet he seemed so defeated.
It was then that more sirens blared and we were forced over to the already tiny shoulder as the police came flying past us. They stopped short of the man who had since inched closer to the ledge mere inches from falling. A man got out of a car I instantly thought of the law shows I used to watch where a negotiator would try and talk the people out of bad situations. I rolled down my window, now curious to hear what was going to happen. I could hear a man's voice as he started his mantra. "You don't have to do this," "We will help you," "Isn't there another way?"
It seemed like the cop had done this before. I also unnerved me by the tone of voice it seemed fake, almost board with a fake worried tone.
The man did not respond to any of the attempts to gain his attention. He just stood there staring blankly down past the Bridge's edge. The negotiator tried one final time to make the man get down by saying something along the lines of "think of what you are giving up." At this, I saw the man on the ledge face crease in a look of disgust before he finally took that last fatal step off the ledge. There was no scream, no noise whatsoever as I watch the man's body drop instantly and disappear. The other cops ran to the ledge and look over. They were already busy calling back up to clear the body off the road below.
My dad got the signal to drive forward as I rolled up the window and sat back against my seat. We were both silent the rest of the way to the park. As we drove, I kept thinking, why did no one do anything quicker to try and save the man? Why did he want to jump in the first place? It was obvious that he was homeless, and that he had not had a good day in a long time, but why was he unable to make things better for himself.
America: the land of opportunity and freedom. It is a great dream and we strive to achieve such dream in every way possible. We help other countries who have just had a natural disaster, or need essential things to survive. We go to war to ally and support countries that need it. We even fight with other countries so that want a better life and want to strive to have what we have. We do all these things to gain respect and look good in the war. But in so doing we forget about one thing…our homeland.
We want to think we are above the rest of the world, so we don't want to think we have anything wrong with the general public. We too have starving people. We too have people who can't support themselves or their families because they don't have jobs.
For other countries, we give them what they need, but when it comes to our food pantries, most people just give away what they deem is unfit for their families. We give away the useless things we find in the back of the cupboard to give to the families that depend on our help to feel full bellies that evening. It is almost like we don't want to know that our own country has fallen off our high horse. Other countries have seen this a long time ago yet, we refuse to believe it and leave our citizens to fend for themselves because of our arrogance.
America's sometimes think that since they were able to stay out of poverty that must mean the people in poverty were lazy and are just trying to milk the system to benefit themselves. It is extremely hard for us to imagine people are able to struggle are unable to make it on their own.
We struggle to show empathy since most of America does not experience the terrifying struggle just to survive since we are sheltered form that world for the most part and refuse to see what is right in front of us every day.
I used to be the exact same way where I was naïve to the world's problems. I truly thought that since I was not in that situation that it could never affect me. Seeing that man jump and how obviously he was a homeless man made me start to reanalyze my perspective and made me want to do more than what I currently was. That one simple experienced opened my eyes to see that the whole world was not a perfect place and I want to raise awareness to the other people that are the way I used to be oblivious to America's cries endless cries for help.