Today’s news:

Kids run with the power of ‘change’

The subjects ranged from animal cruelty to the atrocity of children compelled to serve as soldiers as area students demonstrated the “write stuff” during an essay contest sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council (BRCC).

Four students were chosen as overall winners −− one each in grades five, six, seven and eight −− with other students selected as grade winners for their schools in the Bay Ridge⁄Dyker Heights area, for writing essays on the subject, “If I Could Change One Thing, It Would Be....”

Awards were presented to the winning students during BRCC’s May meeting, held at Public School 176, 1225 Bay Ridge Avenue.

The overall winner for the fifth grade was Maya Muhieddine, of Public School 104, 9115 Fifth Avenue, who wrote passionately of the plight of African children who are conscripted as soldiers.

The sixth grade overall winner was Alondra Vargas−Soto, of Lutheran Elementary School, 440 Ovington Avenue, whose essay was focused on the cruelty of animal testing.

The overall seventh grade winner was Thomas Bajko, of Intermediate School 201, 8010 12th Avenue, who wrote of wanting to see a world without hate.

The overall winner for the eighth grade was Samantha Pezzella, of Visitation Academy, 8902 Ridge Boulevard, whose subject was trash and other pollution on area beaches.

After the students read their winning essays, Linda Mollo−Holmes, the chairperson of BRCC’s Essay Contest Committee, remarked drily, “It’ seems children are not afraid of change. That’s for sure, as long as change is good.”

The contest has been sponsored by the BRCC for 35 years.

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