The Severna Park YWCA recently sponsored a Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. The essays were responses to the question, "What can you do to contribute to (King's) goal of world peace?"

The essays were written by students in grades 3-6, with a limit of 25-50 wordsfor grades 3-4 and 50-100 words for grades 5-6.


The first-place winner in each grade category received a trophy, and the runners-up were awarded ribbons.

Entries were judged on individual ideas, originality, continuity and concise thoughts.


The contest was made possible by a grant from the Steinecker Peace Resource Fund. Below are the winning essays and first and second runners-upfrom each grade:

The World Can Continue Doctor King's Dream

Jessica Byczek: West Meade Elementary School

Third-grade winner

One thing I can do is work with others nicely. Something the whole world can do is not be prejudiced. Make peace around the world and respect others. If we did all this maybe there would not be war. There are a lot of other things that Doctor King wanted, but these things were probably what Doctor King wanted to happen most of all.

World Peace

Phillip Van Den Berghe: Sunset Elementary School

Fourth-grade winner


To contribute to world peace I can do many things. I could be more tolerant of what people believe and the way they live. I can contribute by listening to what people have to say. I can treat everyone equally by using peaceful means to bring about change and by helping people when help is needed.

World Peace

La Donya Carter: Freetown Elementary School

Fifth-grade winner

I can do many things to contribute (to) Dr. King's dream for world peace. I can be friendly, kind and loving. I can love my neighbors and treat them like I want them to treat me. I can work hard to get a good education. I can also help people that need a little and want to do better for themselves. I think Dr. King wanted the whole world to live in peace like brothers and sisters as one family.

Contributing to Dr. King's Dream


Brendan Williams: Manor View Elementary School

Sixth-grade winner

I think I could help contribute to peace by joining or furthering the efforts of the Peace Corps. First of all, I think it is important to tell you what the Peace Corps is. The Peace Corps is an organization that helps underdeveloped countries by teaching and helping them to do many things.

For one they build better roads and homes. Another thing is they improve people's water supply so they can be healthier. An important thing they do is educate people (on) how to get along in the world. This helps to spread knowledge. All of these things give people hope for the future. Because they can help themselves get what they need for a better life. If they have the basic needs of life then they are less inclined to take from other countries. Also by learning about other cultures and ways of doing things they can find out things they have in common and learn from their differences and not come to resent one another for them.

The more understanding there is between different peoples the more basis

there can be for friendship,and there can be less chance of war.


In conclusion, I have also found that all people do not have to do something as dramatic as joining the Peace Corps. If everyday somebody did one nice thing for someone else or just something nice in particular, it would make an extreme difference.

I Can Help Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Keep His Dream

Amber Pickett: West Meade Elementary School

Third-grade first runner-up

I can help Dr. Martin Luther King keep his dream by stopping children from fighting, being kind to others, helping others, and by being peaceful.

I can continue his dream by doing everything in a peaceful way.


What Can I Do to Contribute to World Peace?

BufordS. Sims Jr.: Shipley's Choice Elementary School

Fourth-grade first runner-up

Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream was for people not to fight with each other and accept that we are all equal. He wanted us to use words, not fists to settle our problems in the world. My goal like Dr. King's is to set an example by loving and respecting others, and not fighting but to talk our problems over.

What I Can Do For Peace?

Shanae Anderson: Freetown Elementary School


Fifth-grade first runner-up

I can do things for peace to keep Martin Luther King's dream alive. One of the things I can do is when my little sister hits me, I'll just talk to her instead of hitting her back. Another thing I can do for peace is control my temper instead of yelling. When

someone hits me I can try not to get mad. And another thing is that ifsomeone is prejudiced and calls me names, I'll try to talk to them. Martin Luther King fought for peace and I agree with him. If I really, really try, that would be what I can do for peace. And I will try!

What I Can Do to Promote Peace

Angela Lyons

Sixth-grade first runner-up


To help promote world peace, I would learn to accept other people for what they are and not expect everyone to be like me. I would try to encourage others to be themselves and not to try to impress everyone.

We also could learn to talk to one another, but more importantly is to learn how to listen. Instead of thinking what we want to say next. We should really listen and try to understand what people are saying.

Also try not to use drugs or alcohol because these can sometimes contribute to violence.

The war in the gulf makes me wonder if there will ever be world peace.

How I Want to Keep Mr. King's Dream Alive

Yaditza M. Crez: West Meade Elementary School


Third-grade second runner-up

I want to make the world a better place by planting trees, helping old people, not killing animals, beingfriends with others, (and) keep preserving forests. Also I would like to help others, stop littering, and fighting. We should all obey the law.


James Doyle: Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School

Fourth-grade second runner up

One way to contribute to Mr. King's goal of world peace is to try to stop fights, but more important not to start them. I could


talk instead of arguing and listen to suggestion. I would start small but build it up. If everyone in the worldstarted with themselves and everyday things, it would be a big step toward world peace.


John Bova: Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School

Fifth-grade second runner-up

We can contribute to world peace daily in small ways. I believe that world peace isn't large-scale things like laws, marches and conferences but, instead, the little things we do constantly. I believe that in order to attain world peace we must first be able to forgive. If we are able to solve thesmall problems, the large ones will follow. World peace can be foundin daily practice of patience, caring, tolerance and prayer. The simple solution to this very hard problem: by paying attention to the minute things, we can contribute to world peace every minute of our lives.

Think of How You Would Feel!


Janel Shaughnessy: Manor View Elementary School

Sixth-grade second runner-up

To contribute to Martin Luther King Jr.'s goal, I can stick up for people who aren't being treated equally. I can also try to get them to understand that it is not right to treat others differently. I will never say anything to hurt someone's feelings or to put them down and to make them feel like no one cares about them. I wish people would just understand thatall people have feelings and are made the same. I can't understand how anyone could be so cruel as to hurt another human. I wish people would think of how they would feel if they were being treated unkind. I know I am still young, but I can do my part in keeping Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive.