Astoria first-grader wins national writing contest

Isabella Taxilaga
Photo courtesy of The Be Kind People Project

One Astoria first-grader has a prize-winning way with words.

Isabella Taxilaga, a student at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay has been named the $1,000 grand prize winner of the nonprofit The Be Kind People Project’s national student writing contest.

The “Kindness is the Key to Unlocking Good Character” competition was open to public, private and home-school kindergarten through eighth-grade students across the United States. Each student was asked to write an essay on how deciding to be kind can help them develop good character and make a positive impact on classmates, family, friends and the whole community.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that kindness becomes a vital and ongoing part of students’ lives,” said Lisa Hartsock, CEO of The Be Kind People Project. “The national writing contest provides a unique opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in language arts while demonstrating their commitment to kindness.”

Isabella’s essay, called “Kindness Is…,” included a colorful drawing of two girls smiling with a large red heart between them. She ends her essay with“Kindness makes the world a better place. Kindess is…everything!”

Along with taking home the grand prize, the Isabella ’s essay was also a winning entry in the first-grade category of the contest. Isabella and her teacher, Stephanie Lupoli received Amazon gift cards and P.S. 122 will get a personalized congratulatory Be Kind Pledge banner for the school office.

Isabella’s classmates will also have the chance to participate in an online chat with members of the young urban dance performance group called The Be Kind Crew.

“Students from Sacramento to Delaware participated in this year’s contest, which is part of a comprehensive program to help young people acquire the character skills they need to be respectful, positive and encouraging to others,” Hartsock said. “We believe that it’s essential to take every opportunity to acknowledge and reward acts of kindness whenever they occur.”

To read Isabella’s essay and other winning entries, click here.



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