When Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Star Tribune asked local elementary students to write essays about how everyone counts, they immediately understood it wasn’t a question about math.
Hundreds of students in grades three through five wrote essays about how little, everyday acts — from smiling at the new kid in school, to raking the yard of an elderly person, to treating others with respect—can make our communities welcoming, inclusive and stronger.
Some of the students wrote about how they’d like to change the world; others wrote about what they were already doing to improve their neighborhoods. But it was clear from their essays that they all understood the golden rule in action.
“When you help someone you help yourself,” wrote one fourth-grader.
First-place winner Emerson Peaslee will receive a $500 savings bond. The nine runners-up—Gracie Tilney-Kaemmer, Ahmad Abdirahman, Ruby Mae Miller, Winter Craig, Lucy Yang, Catherine Woods, Jacob Sonnek, Beth Thelen and Nicholas Wallenhorst—will each receive a $100 savings bond.
Read the first-place essay and runners-up at the Star Tribune’s website.