Community Voices: Essay contest winners

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are the winning entries from the recent essay contest that was part of the UCF Family Pasta Dinner on the topic: Think Globally, Act Locally. Judges from the faculty and community judged the entries and these five were selected. We run them here for two reasons: 1. We think it is important to share the thoughts and opinions of even the youngest members of our community — and find these to be very worthy additions to our community discourse; 2. We wish to encourage and praise young writers and hope this acknowledgement of their fine work provides a spark for a new generation of writers to come. — MEM

Winning Entry No. 1:

Think Globally, Act Locally to me means loving Earth and loving our community.  My mom used to tell me her childhood was full of catching fish and frogs with bare hands.  To me, even though I have a lake outside my neighborhood, I have never seen a fish in it.  All it is to me is a hole in the ground filled with blurry water.  However, in the spring, butterflies, bees, and even dragon flies fly by.

Summer is my favorite season.  Why?  I like summer because I can hear the sweet singing chorus of the lake animals.  I really can’t imagine a world without them.

In the spring our family is the busiest.  My dad used to buy weed killer.  When he used it, the ducks that came by would never come.  They know it is poisonous.  But not only is it bad for them, but for us, too.  So, my dad stopped using it.  Every weekend, we will get our buckets and shovels and have a competition.  The first person to fill their bucket with weeds wins.  Pulling weeds may seem boring to you, but to us, my family always looks forward to it.

What do we do with the money we didn’t use?  At the end of the year, my dad donates it to American Red Cross, our local hospital, and the police department.  By doing this, not only does our family save some animals, we can also help people.

Everyone complains that our planet is in danger, but some people won’t even pick up a piece of trash.  They think the responsibility is others’ and not theirs.  But we must help each other to protect the planet and animals.  Protecting our planet starts from little things.  Save the animals’ homes and our precious planet!


Addison Liu

Third Grade

Hillendale Elementary


Winning Entry No. 2:

I know I can’t control everything going on in the world, but I can at least try to make a difference in my community.  I do this by supporting my local farms.  My family buys fresh milk, butter and ice cream from Baily’s Dairy Farm in Pocopson, and we also support our local CSA- Community Sponsored Agriculture- SIW in Chadds Ford.

At Baily’s, all the animals are healthy because they let them eat grass and don’t put chemicals in their bodies.  They treat the cows like you would treat your family pet- with love and kindness.  And it all comes out in their delicious milk.

We call the CSA “the share”.  We call it that because you are able to buy fruits and vegetables by giving money up front for your share.  Each week in the summer we go and pick up our share of that week’s harvest, so it’s always fresh.

How does any of this help us globally?  If we bought milk and eggs from a grocery store, the products would first of all be causing some animals misery because they milk them too much, they feed them grain instead of grass and pump them with chemicals to make them produce more milk.  And the fruits and vegetables are sprayed with chemicals to keep them bug-free and make them bigger.  When we eat these foods, all of these chemicals go into our bodies.

Second of all, if you think about it, you’re also polluting the air.  You’re polluting the air because the products need to be delivered to the store using trucks that travel long distances and use a lot of gas and resources to keep the dairy products refrigerated, and fruits and vegetable fresh.

Buying these things from our local farms makes me feel good because I’m eating healthy and supporting the community at the same time  By filling their ”bucket” I’m also filling my “bucket”.  I encourage people everywhere to support their local farms.  If we all do our small part, we can make a big difference!

Cate Rainhall

Third  Grade

Pocopson Elementary

Winning Entry No. 3:

This is what “Think Globally, Act Locally” means to me.  First, the basic idea about the phrase is to think about problems around the world, and then do something in your neighborhood that will solve that problem.  Here are a few examples.

First, you can go around your neighborhood to pick up litter.  That will help prevent pollution, which will make a cleaner planet.  Also, it will help save animals’ habitats.

Next, you can use the backs of pieces paper.  If you do that, it will prevent trees from getting cut down.  Also, restaurants should use dryers instead of paper towels to also prevent trees from getting cut down.  Then, birds and other animals that depend on trees to survive can still live.

Third, you can put up signs around neighborhood that say, “No Smoking”.  That way, there will be no air pollution.  Plus, smoking is very bad to your body.

This last example already happened at my school.  What we did is our principal set up a bracelet store.  The bracelets were woven by kids from Haiti.  We would buy some bracelets for $2.00 each.  That money went to Haiti to rebuild the buildings that collapsed during the earthquake.  We raised more than $1,000.00!  Those are some ways you can improve your neighborhood and places around the world.


By: Kevin Liao

Fourth Grade

Chadds Ford Elementary


Winning Entry No. 4:

We Can Change the World

Do you want to help change the world?  Well you can if you get Solar Panels, always recycle, and use less paper.  Remember, even the smallest things can make a big difference.

If you want to make our home a better place, you should get solar panels.  This is a great way to prevent electricity that can hurt our world.  These solar panels can also prevent global warming.  (Remember the polar bears).  The things you do to help, can’t hurt you.

Ever heard the saying reduce, reuse, recycle?  Well you should always recycle; it can be reduced and reused.  This is a superb way to prevent pollution!  (Trash/waste)   You won’t have to worry about those revolting city dumps, yuck!  Recycling is an incredible way to save the place that we live and love.

Pursuing this further, you should definitely use less paper. You could save so many trees that could’ve been cut down, for paper needs.  You will always need the trees to produce our oxygen to save the paper our amazing trees made us, use the back of your paper.  The trees are the reason you can have your wonderful life!  To sum it all up, with these simple steps anybody can save planet earth!  Just do your best to get solar panels, always recycle, and use so much less paper.  This is a phenomenal way to save our planet.


Rebecca Turner

Fifth Grade

Unionville Elementary



Winning Entry No. 5:

I think “Think Globally, Act Locally, means to start something at home and it spreads across your home, neighborhood, your community, your state, your country, continent, or the world.

Some examples of “Think Globally, Act Locally,” are a lemonade stand, a fund raiser, a program or any kind.  All of these are examples.

I really don’t like starvation and I think I can stop it by making a lunch sending it to someone in need.  This could be someone’s breakfast or lunch or dinner or just something to enjoy.  I think this will help starvation.  I just have to put some time into it.

Zach Delcollo

Third Grade

Hillendale Elementary

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