Haller Middle School student wins third prize in World Citizen Essay Contest
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:04 PM
ARLINGTON When Haller Middle School seventh-grader Dana Canaria was asked what she would do if she was President of the United States, she called for an immediate end to landmines. Her answer won an award from the World Affairs Council.
Canaria received third prize in Washington states sixth- through eighth-grade category of the 2007 World Citizen Essay Contest, which asked students to explain which global issues they would focus on, if they were running for President.
Canarias 1,000-word essay called for landmines to be banned and removed worldwide, due to the number of civilian injuries and deaths that they cause.
My family comes from the Philippines and there are a lot of landmines there, Canaria said. Most of the people who are killed by landmines are kids, because they find them and think theyre toys.
Canaria cited Angelina Jolie as one of the many celebrities who have spoken out against landmines, which she believes could help motivate the worlds people and governments to devote the resources needed to do away with such weapons.
Landmines really need to be removed in Africa and Cambodia and other places where people rely heavily on the land, Canaria said. They dont just kill people, they also hurt the environment. When landmines explode, they release toxic fluid that seeps into the ground and can infect crops and because so many people trade their crops, it can infect a lot of people.
Haller Middle School teacher Patricia Vaughn, who assigned the essay contest to Canarias class, noted that the contests criteria required all winning essays to employ concisely worded arguments, supported by extensive examples from the real world.
She made a lot of growth as a writer, by learning how to use words to their best effect, offering rich details and illuminating examples, Vaughn said. Her analysis was genuinely insightful.
Canaria reported that she spent two weeks researching and writing her essay and she received $50 as a prize.