Students: Kindness makes community a better place
Downes Elementary 4th-graders win essay contest
What makes a good neighbor? Approximately 40 local kids weighed in on the topic of kindness and its impact on the community as part of a recent essay contest sponsored by the Newark Area Welfare Committee. The contest was part of NAWC’s annual Good Neighbor Day celebration Oct. 28, which also included the group’s well-known bean soup mix sale.
On Tuesday, the winners received a visit from Mayor Polly Sierer and Good Neighbor Day coordinator Katie Hughes, who presented them with gifts card from the Downtown Newark Partnership.
First-place winner Natali Gogoladze, a fourth-grader at Downes Elementary School, wrote about a neighbor who is teaching her to speak French.
“I think she does it for free because she sees how much I enjoy it,” Natali wrote. “To make it up to her, in the winter we sweep the snow from her car and my senior neighbors’ cars.”
Kindness can make a big difference in the world, she added.
“For example, if you donate clothes or toys like I do, you can make someone so happy,” she wrote. “Here is a different one. Instead of talking or texting on a phone, talking in person. It can make your friendship stronger, plus you will be happier because you may not have seen each other in a while.”
Runner-up Audrey Nelson, also a fourth-grader at Downes, wrote about going to Main Street and seeing people show kindness to the homeless people who frequent the area, such as giving them a bottle of water or a restaurant allowing them to keep warm inside.
“I think when people do things like when restaurants give them something to eat or drink, it will make more kindness,” Audrey wrote. “When we choose kindness, we make our community a better place to live.”
Downes Elementary fourth-graders Natali Gogoladze (left) and Audrey Nelson pose with Mayor Polly Sierer after winning the Newark Area Welfare Committee’s Good Neighbor Day essay contest.