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Arlington students named ‘Prodigies for Peace’
ARLINGTON — The Snohomish County “Prodigies for Peace” for this year’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. included a number of Arlington students, all of whom came from the same fifth-grade classroom in Pioneer Elementary.
While Pioneer Elementary fifth-graders McKayla Buell, Sydney Landrie, Alexandria Orozco, Ian Roskelley, Jaxson Bishop and Chayce Garcia all received honorable mentions for their art projects, classmates Hailey Bollinger and Kaytlin Hunsinger were the first- and third-place winners in the art category, respectively. Cooper Hudson, a fellow student of fifth-grade teacher Lori Adams, won first place in the essay category for sharing his thoughts on King’s dream.
Hunsinger’s art entry utilized colored construction paper and glossy magazine photographs to create a collage of multiracial faces within the patriotic-themed frame of red, white and blue silhouettes of King’s face in profile.
“I wanted to show that I think everyone should be treated the same way, whether they’re black or white,” Hunsinger said.
Bollinger’s mixed-media art entry used a heart-shaped peace sign molded out of multicolored clay to frame a photo collage which included not only photos of King, but also of the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima and Ground Zero in New York.
“It was to show his principles,” Bollinger said. “He stood for love instead of hate. Martin Luther King believed in peace, equality and harmony.”
Hudson’s essay entry summarized King’s dream as “to have black and white people get along and to have the freedom to choose.” In the spaces allotted for him to describe his own dreams, Hudson shared his aspirations of becoming a doctor to help others be healthy enough to achieve their own dreams. He also urged readers to take better care of the environment by recycling and planting trees, and of each other by working to end world hunger.
“What I learned from Martin Luther King is that one person’s dream can stretch out to the whole world,” Hudson said. “Even in your own community, you can start with simple things to give others an example to follow.”
Adams noted that four different school districts’ students won “Prodigies for Peace” awards, but she nonetheless felt proud of her own students for being well-represented in that group.
“I first came to Arlington in 1976 and was involved in the Respecting Ethnic And Cultural Heritage Center with Gary Howard,” Adams said. “I helped write the REACH curriculum for kids. Promoting diversity and acceptance is important to me, and I see contests like these as an accessible opportunity for doing so.”
The Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Partnering Breakfast in Everett includes a portion honoring the “Prodigies for Peace” school essay contest winners, and while this year’s breakfast on Jan. 12 was cancelled due to snow, it was rescheduled for Feb. 2.