COLUMBIA — Keeping with tradition, the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration Student Writings Booklet has been published on its website and will be distributed in booklets at the breakfast on Thursday.
Each year students in fourth through 12th grades submit original essays and poetry to an independent selection committee. The students were limited to one page typed or two pages written for their creative works. Below are selections from a few of this year's winners.
The Dream Revisited
By Jude Schwedtmann
Fourth grade, Rock Bridge Elementary School
Have you ever felt different? Or have you ever tried to speak to your mom and she didn’t know what you’re saying? I couldn’t speak any English to my mom. I have just come to America from China.
At the age of five in America a woman adopted me. I was happy to have a new mom. The only problem was that we couldn’t understand each other.
Have you ever spoken to your mom and she didn’t know what you’re saying? I was hard to communicate with the most important person in my life. It made me feel frustrated to talk to my mom.
Now that I have lived in America for five years, I now know English. My mom and I can talk together all the time. If feels great to talk together.
My mom and I are from two different parts of the world and know two different languages. Even though we were born in two different countries we’re still a part of the same family.
A Single Soul Walking
Ninth grade, Jefferson Junior High School
A single soul walking
Footprints in the grass
Is he built of memory
A ghost of the past
What thoughts cross his fleeting mind
His footsteps made a light
Willed to bear the weight of the worlds
Walking in the night
The air hangs in grey-mist curtains
The cloak of dark enveloping
His solemn figure against the sky
His shadow still developing
His path unfolds forgotten ways
Revisiting the dream
The time it takes to save them
Not as far as it may seem
But truth sometimes forgotten
Night’s silence is its own
The balance imperfect
He always walks alone
The Important Thing about Peace
Fourth grade, Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School
The important thing about peace is that it is very nice. It looks like a nice shower of rain and feels like a pillow. If you had to taste it, it would taste like sweet warm pie. When I think of peace I think of colorful flowers. When you think of peace what do you think of? When everyone thinks of peace then the world will be amazing!!!
The Dream Revisited
11th grade, Rock Bridge High School
Our society, as confusing as it is,
Is filled with differences that make us one
It takes talent to make a society so diverse
But still be able to remain this flexible and this fun.
We have different cultures, races and religions
And somehow we find ways to look past the unfamiliarity
We don’t always have to understand why people are the way they are
Sometimes not understanding why sparks the deepest clarity.
Peace lies somewhere in the veins of our world today
Peace is something that we have struggled so hard to reach
But with every smile to every person who is not like us
That peace remains alive, for that peace we keep.
Finding truth in the largest sins
Make up who we really are to be
Our society’s mirror is the acceptance of other people
And how we influence loving the things that we can’t always see.
Martin Luther King told us that we could be cohesive
With a varied races and varied people side by side
Let’s always remember that peace reins true when we learn to love
Let’s let love be our compass, let’s let love be our guide.
The Women Rights
Fifth grade, Shepard Elementary
To all the women
Aren’t you glad you live today instead of back when you could only do some things?
I hope that you are glad that you have every right now that all men have, and you should be proud of that.
If you were to sink back into centuries ago, and at one point you would not be able to vote, you would not have a say as to who was in your government, and who was making all the decisions. Back then all you could do was sit inside and wait for your husband to get home from work, just so that he could sit and watch you care for your children and make supper.
But no, not now! Now you can be the ones coming home late from work. Now you can vote for who you believe is right to rule. Just like Susan B. Anthony gave us the right to do that.
You should be thankful for all the rights you have today.
I know that we are all proud of our nation’s women and all of the things that they have stood up for. Starting way back in the 1800’s our nation’s women have lead us to freedom and the right to say the things we want to say, sure the men had a role in it too.
But mostly the people who lead us through everything we have been through are the women. That’s what you should be thankful for.
We all just need to say thanks to the ones dead or alive and tell them that they are everything that we have lived up to be today.
Be a teacher or a lawyer or anyone who has made an impact in your life.
Someone has to stand up, and now it’s our turn to fight for what we believe in.
Be big or small, but if you have a problem with it, you have to fight.
Not with violence but with words.
Do it for all of us, do it for yourself.
Because we have things on our minds and just like women before our rights we will not stop fighting.