Sparta eighth grader wins award for poetry

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:55

    SPARTA — Julia Crimando of Sparta, received third place in the 2011 Mahatma Gandhi Art and Writing Contest sponsored by the Association of Indians in America on Oct. 2. The purpose of the award is to raise awareness on the importance of Gandhi’s message on non violence, racial harmony and peace. This year more than 800 students from middle and high schools participated. Julia entered the writing portion of the contest through her seventh grade language arts teacher, Amy Del Coro. All finalists were recognized in front of a live audience in Princeton and were awarded a certificate of accomplishment and received cash awards. The 2011 Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary celebrations and award ceremony was held at the Friend Center at Princeton University. The theme for 2011 was “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children” Here is her entry: Begin with the Children By Julia Crimando Begin with the children, why? Because they are innocent? Because they feel no hate? Because love comes first? Because they don’t know lies? Because they don’t understand the war? The war that has rid what used to be all innocence? Teach real peace in this world Teach it with the children They know only love They know only truth They know only compassion and innocence They are the saviors, to save what is left Of this peace that has been left behind Real war, against real war But, who can stop it? The children, for they hold what is left of scraps of love They grasp to it willingly, to save what is left To save the world from destroying all love, innocence, and compassion Begin with them, for they are the true leaders Begin, with whom? The children. Why? Why begin with those who are viewed as immature Or maybe even foolish Or are told they just don’t understand But listen, they do, for they may not know about politics or war But what truly matters is what they do understand. Peace. To save ourselves from the endless pit we’ve fallen into To climb out and be a survivor You must turn to the nation, or country beside you, and shake hands But why should we do that? The children understand that part of forgiving, is forgetting Children don’t understand color, war, politics, money, or hatred They understand friendship, freedom, and most of all, The children understand acceptance. We must save the last of the innocence So little left it could fit in the palm of your hand, Take it from a child and spread it across the nation like a rainfall Until everyone is bathed once again in what has been missing for so long, Like rain in a desert. Peace is to be saved, and with the help of the children, it shall be there with you. Grasping you and reassuring the world that once felt lost. The children are the key And forever they will be So look out into the world, and decide Is peace what is truly trying to be teached? Then turn to the child behind you, stirring ever so slightly And realize they knew all along what was to be found, But first, you had to discover that you had to begin with the children.