February 3, 2023
Annapolis, US 30 F

Crofton 5th Grader Wins Rotary Essay Prize

Claire Mackes, a fifth grade student from Crofton who attends The Summit School, accepts her winning certificate and gift card to Barnes and Noble from Dr. Jane Snider, Founding Executive Director.

Each year the Southern Anne Arundel Rotary Club offers students in grades 3-5,  in the eleven publics schools located in the southern part of the county, and the two independent schools, the opportunity to submit an essay based on a particular theme.  This year’s theme asked the students to write about tolerance, respect and acceptance.

Claire’s essay was extensive and filled with compassionate ideas to promote the theme.

Claire Mackes
Rotary club contest
The Summit School, 5th grade

“Friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life” wrote Dior Yamasaki.  Without friendships, kids would grow up not knowing how to have good relationships.  Kids from different schools and backgrounds need more opportunities to play with each other so they can see that all kids have lots to offer and are deserving of love, tolerance, respect, kindness, and acceptance.  In this essay, I will explain how kids are limited in exposure to other kids.  However, if they were together they would use their similarities to develop relationships.  Having events to bring together kids would develop acceptance between kids.

There are many different school settings, and each limits exposure to other groups of kids.  First off, most kids go to public schools.  They get to go to schools with kids from their neighborhoods that they already know.   Some schools are private schools.  In addition, some schools are for kids that learn differently.  For example, I go to the Summit School which has kids with dyslexia and focus problems.    Kids at Summit come from all over Maryland, so students don’t know each other from their neighborhoods.  Although schools are very different from each other and limit children to a small group of kids, the kids at different schools are still very alike.

There are lots of similarities that would develop relationships between kids even if they go to different schools.  To begin with, almost all kids like sports like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball.  Secondly all kids want friends and, if given the opportunity to play with each other, they would make friends.  Plus, kids can get to know each other a lot better when they come together to have fun.  Kids also come to know each other by going to summer camps and learning together.  Likewise most children enjoy art and music which happens when they are at concerts, church, lessons, classes, and fairs.  Finally, kids love competing which they can do in science fairs, school sports, and competitions like the Rotary Club contest.  Children have more in common than you might think and they would want to come together to make friends.

Bringing kids together to have fun would be an amazing thing to do and would help kids to use tolerance, respect, and kindness with each other.  I would demonstrate these qualities by assembling the following events and programs for schools and neighborhoods.  First off, I could set up a field day and invite other local schools.  Kids could play sports and games such as soccer, football, and Frisbee.  Secondly, I could have a student exchange program set up so that students could see other student’s school surroundings.  Next, I could arrange a science fair and invite other schools.  Plus, I could have a craft fair and not just invite other schools but also invite homeschoolers because they might not be at the other events because they are not part of a school organization.  Also, I could hold a book club and have one or two kids from each local school to represent that school.  Finally, I would invite local schools and others to these events.  Having events to bring different kids together would be fantastic and help them get along with each other.

Children from separate schools and backgrounds need more chances to have fun with each other, so they can see that all kids are worthy of promoting tolerance, love, respect, kindness, and acceptance.  Kids have incomplete experiences with other kids because they don’t know kids who don’t go to their schools.  On the other hand, if they were together, they would develop friendships because they have a lot in common.  Having events to join kids together would allow them to accept each other.  Someone just needs to make the events happen.  After all, if “friends are the most important ingredient in the recipe of life,” then variety is the spice of life.

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