Students write poems and essays celebrating diversity in Columbia

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | 6:18 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA – A collection of 51 original essays and poems by Columbia students will be distributed on Thursday morning at the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration.

The 2012 Student Writings Booklet features works by students in grades 4 through 12. A group of judges from the planning committee reviewed more than 320 submissions and made selections based on age, writing level and subject matter.

"We send letters out to principals and teachers here in the community and reached out through the library and library blog to try to get the home-schooled kids," event organizer Kari Utterback said.

Here are some of the essays and poems included in the 41-page booklet that is available on the city's website:

Bhargav Addagarla, fourth grade, Paxton Keeley Elementary

In my classroom we have people from different places with different cultures. Like one person is from India and one person is from Korea. It doesn’t matter if we are black or white and brown but we still need to be treated the same way. We can stop judging people by the way they look. If we stop, it will spread peace to the community. And that is what we need to do!!!

Krystle Wilson, 11th grade, Hickman High School

We must let freedom ring

So we can all sing

Together as one

Instead of separated

Black and White

No longer matter,

We can now see through

Into one another's hearts

There is no need to be scared

To walk down the streets

For we all walk on our own two feet

Alexa Ninichuck, ninth grade, West Junior High School

Imagine a rock band with no drummer, a jazz band with no saxophone, or a country band with no guitarist. Something would obviously be missing. It’s not the individual drummer, sax, 
or guitarist that makes up the band, but rather the combination of each unique instrument blended together. Each note is matched perfectly to the others played. Often in music, when one instrument is lost, the others struggle to keep on. In a way, the community of Columbia operates kind of like music. Each race, religion, culture and opinion is like an individual instrument. When played solo, it’s beautiful, but when intertwined with others, the outcome is much more harmonious and enjoyable.

Danica Barnes, fifth grade, Rock Bridge Elementary

A long time ago, black and white people were separated. To this day children bully others for their hair being different, or their eyes looking "weird" or their clothes look old and cheap. But it is wrong.

It is important for everyone to be treated equally. We are all humans, we're God's creation. We all have hearts, and feelings. So why attack one person's feelings, why be the cause of shed tears? Does anyone really deserve that? No! NOBODY is better, or worse than anyone else.

People are people, and justice is the American Pledge! "Justice for all" it says! So show justice, and kindness, and welcoming to all! Let children and adults alike have peace, and show that every human beings life is worth living? Be kind, be fair, and treat others as you want to be treated.

Isabel Dyke, seventh grade, Smithton Middle School

One community, many stories. That is what we aim for. Diversity and supporting it in our own community. Diversity is what we strive for when we set aside the natural barriers that come between people. It is the star that we reach towards when we are open to all people, regardless of dress, skin color, or heritage. Yet, despite the efforts, people are mistreated and misjudged every day in our world. Now is the time to unite to celebrate the differences that lie within the layers of our city. It is never too late.

Diversity is like an ice cream sundae. With only vanilla, it is plain and nearly flavorless. If you add hot fudge sauce or caramel, it gets more interesting and more fun to eat. If you add peanuts, sprinkles, and a cherry, it is even more desirable. If we have a city with toppings of all shapes and sizes, then we will have true diversity.

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