“My Hawai‘i Story Project” writing contest for students

Enter the writing contest

To enter a story visit www.hawaiiconservation.org/myhawaii.asp

To volunteer as a judge contact Kendall McCreary at 586-0922 or johnkm@hawaii.edu

by The Garden Island

What makes Hawai‘i’s environment so special to you?

Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance and Pacific Writers’ Connection are set to launch the “My Hawai‘i Story Project” for 2007.

The Hawaii Conservation Alliance and the Pacific Writers’ Connection seek to celebrate young writers and the natural environment of the state. The project is an education outreach endeavor for middle schools and intermediate schools statewide. HCA and PWC hope sixth- to eighth-grade students will describe their feelings about Hawai‘i’s environment in a 1,000-word essay, or 150-word poem.

It will be conducted entirely online. The project closes May 17. Winners will be announced on July 1. The 25 best written contributions will be provided with a half-day writers’ workshop, a book, and other awards.

To join the contest, young writers are asked to complete one original poem or story in any language the student feels most confident with. The work will be judged on how well the story expresses the writer’s feelings about the environment, correct grammar and sentence structure and originality.

The top 25 stories will be compiled into a book and published on Web sites, crediting the writer and their school. The award ceremony will be held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on July 25, and the compiled books will be on display for two days at the convention hall.

Judges are needed for this ambitious writing contest for all intermediate and middle schools in Hawai‘i. All submissions and judging will take place online at the group’s Web site. Judging is ongoing for the duration of the project and the number of stories reviewed is voluntary.

Retired English teachers or professors, active teachers or professors with time, journalists, or professional writers are encouraged to participate.

Kuleana Project Report

Noelani School, 5th grade

First Place 2006

I am a fifth-grader at Noelani Elementary School. This year, we studied water conservation and the Manoa Stream with its non-point source pollution problem.

We learned that Hawai‘i does not have enough water and discussed ways we could conserve water. In our homes, we can fix all leaking and dripping faucets. When brushing our teeth or washing our hands, we can run the water only when needed. We can put water gauges on hoses and showerheads to be sure we don’t use too much water.

In our own neighborhood is the Manoa Stream. We learned many things pollute the Stream. Water runs through storm drains into the Stream and carries soap from car washing, pesticides, herbicides, oil and trash. People dump unwanted pet fish and trash directly into the Stream. This pollution kills fish and plants in the streams and endangers the natural habitat.

We went on a field trip to observe the Manoa Stream. I hoped to see clean, clear water, but the water was murky and had trash in it. I expected to see lots of fish, but there were only a couple of fish and one crayfish. I was disappointed and upset to see that our community had not taken better care of our Stream. Malama O Manoa showed us a movie about attempts to clean the Stream and they told us that when they were kids, they used to swim in the Stream.

We brainstormed and talked about ways we could prevent pollution and get other people to stop further water pollution in our area. We can tell our families and friends to use natural fertilizers and stop using pesticides and herbicides. We can show them that using mulch and compost provides good, environmentally friendly fertilizers. We can ask our relatives and neighbors to plant more ground cover to lessen runoff. Instead of washing cars in our driveways, we can try to minimize runoff by washing cars on our lawns and using less water.

Many people say that educating the public through handouts, newspapers and other advertising is the solution, and I have seen a lot of that done already. I think educating the public is a good thing, but my personal solution is to convince my family, friends and neighbors to conserve water and stop non-source pollution, and ask them to pass along the information, too.

Save the Water of the Earth

Maryknoll School,

7th grade

Honorable Mention 2006

Water

Precious, Scarce

Preserve and Conserve

Try to save it

Life

Water is our life’s enhancer

And it is running dry

This problem has an answer

That everyone should try

We should all learn to reserve

What helps to keep us alive

And learn to conserve

What we need to survive

Precious water of the earth

Is something we cannot replace

It is something with great worth

That people should not waste

So don’t pollute our H2O

And it will be more rife

Tell everyone you know

To save this precious gift of life.

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