2013 Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners

12:30 AM, Jan. 21, 2013  |  Comments
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? Maia Pierce, third grade, Edison Elementary School, Appleton:

If I were in charge of the World

If I were in charge of the school,

I'd cancel ...


Retiring teachers,

My noisy lunch room,

and also mean 6th graders!

If I were in charge of the school

there'd be ...

More reading class,

a quiet class room,

no dramatic girls,

and 100 soccer balls in the cart!

If I were in charge of the WORLD

There would be more ...

People who are not in poverty,

More people who have homes,

and more loving people!

And there would be less

People who don't have health care,

And less people who don't say what they mean

And a kid who is stubborn ... sometimes

And a kid who is jealous ... sometimes

Would still be allowed to be in charge

of the world!

? Ryan Mares, fifth grade, St. Bernadette, Appleton:

Just. One simple word, but if the world was just, it would almost be perfect. We've had people fighting for a just world. Martin Luther King Jr. is a prime example. He saw segregation, and he knew it was wrong, so he stepped up and helped stop it. If I would build a just world, everything would be fair and right. It would be the world everyone wants to live in. The world most people have dreamed would happen in their lifetime. It would be peaceful, something the world today isn't.

I would start small. Being kind to everyone, stopping fights and doing what is right.

Then I would get bigger, trying to get my friends to do the same. I would tell them to just be kind and help others.

Then I would make sure I did, and tell others, to respect your parents and elders.

I know this all isn't much, but if everyone contributes a little, the world will become a better place.

I know I can't make the world peaceful now, with my age, but I can change my community or school to be a better place. So stop thinking someone else will do it, and make a difference. Start small and get bigger. YOU can change the world.

The world needs improving, and someone has to do it.

? Nicole Buchinger, seventh grade, River View Middle School, Kaukauna:

Building a Just Community

What does just mean? Just: Guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness. Ask yourself these questions. Are you just? Do you treat everybody and everything equally? Most people would say no to these questions. As a result, you might think that building a just community would be challenging or even impossible, but is it? When building a just community, the citizens would need to possess tolerance, a full education, and integrity.

No citizen, under any circumstances, would be treated with intolerance due to their race, sex, or beliefs. Therefore, children would be raised to accept diversity. All people would be equally valued and their ideas considered. Then, jobs would be given based strictly on qualifications and abilities. Their race, sex, or beliefs would bear no significance toward their chances of obtaining a certain job or how much they would be compensated. If everyone within the community would be accepted for who they are, the community would function just and fairly.

Every individual would be given a full education, not only for their own good, but for the welfare of the community. For instance, if every citizen would receive a full education, they would have enough qualifications to open their own businesses, creating job opportunities to help the community thrive. Unemployment would diminish. To make this possible, all students would need to successfully complete high school. Consequently, students should not be allowed to drop out. After obtaining their high school diploma, each individual can decide to further their knowledge. To make sure that students get the best of their education, their teachers and parents should help. Each student should be offered one on one with a teacher to ensure that they fully understand concepts. Also, parents would help students at home with homework and studies. As a result, the student can prosper in their educational career.

Lastly, people would need to be filled with integrity. Citizens would help the community without expecting anything in return. For example, they would pick up litter or help those in need when they know that they wouldn't benefit from it. They would do it for the benefit of others. Also, when people would donate, they would be anonymous so it wouldn't appear like they are flaunting. People would help the world around them out of the goodness of their hearts because it is the just thing to do.

Just communities would need to have citizens who possess tolerance, a full education, and integrity to be successful. People will be valued. Unemployment will be weakened. People will choose to make smart decisions. Without these major turning points, building a just community would be challenging, or may even be impossible.

? Annalise Peebles, ninth grade, Appleton North High School


A just community is created by the people within it

It is created by the risk takers

The ones that are willing to take chances and make mistakes

The ones taking the next big step

The ones in our community that share their thoughts and opinions

The ones putting their ideas into action

And creating a chain reaction

It is those people that truly make a difference


Whether it be race, religion, abilities, disabilities, or complexion

The one thing that sets us apart from the rest

The one thing that causes you to sit alone at the lunch table

The one thing that crumbles your self-esteem

The one thing you are automatically judged for

And the one reason nobody accepts you


The ones able to look past the outer features

And find the inner ones

The ones that do not judge you based on how much money you have

Nor how many friends, shoes, or clothes you have

The ones that bring our community together, and put aside differences

The ones that treat everyone as an equal


The word that binds our community together

The word Martin Luther King Jr. believed in so strongly

The word that gave all mankind the same opportunities

The word which our nation was created upon


The ones who want to bring something into existence

The ones who believe in something strongly

The ones who make a change

The ones who want to affect a lifestyle or group of people

The ones who make a just community


What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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