Third grader Mark Shalaj appears to have a future in being a writer – and a pretty good one at that.
Shalaj is the son of Engjell and Olga Shalaj, and he attends Dickinson East Elementary School. He recently was named one of three winners in the annual essay contest sponsored by the Concerned Women of Hamtramck.
He read his essay at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event held at the Hamtramck High School Community Center. He’s in Mrs. Cook’s class, and when he’s not honing his writing skills he likes playing soccer with his dad.
Here’s his essay:
“How we can take pride in our community”
The first way that I would start to take pride in my community is to get along with all the different people that live in our community. Our community as I was told and as I can see in school and in my neighborhood has all different nationalities such as Albanian, African-Americans, Bangladesh, Bosnian, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Yemen and many others.
We need to all look at each other equally, we need to not let religion separate us. This alone would help us to take pride in our community. Also, helping the homeless and poor people that we see on street corners.
Helping them with basic needs of food and shelter, have more people volunteer with soup kitchens and shelters in churches and have more programs that these people can join to help keep their stomachs full, and their hands and feet warm during these cold winter days and also beds for the to sleep in during these cold winter nights.
A very important way to take pride in our community is to save our old trees, they are always working to help us by improving the air quality by trapping dust so that dust doesn’t damage our lungs. Tree leaves absorb carbon dioxide and other bad gases and in turn replenish the atmosphere with oxygen for us to breathe and fresh air to inhale. Cutting our lawns and placing them in recycling paper bags can also help.
Recycling is not so popular in our community but we need to start doing it. All the littering, helping pick up litter even if we don’t know who threw it just picking it up helps and also looks nicer. Graffiti is another thing that our community is suffering from. It makes our beautiful community look horrible. We need more volunteers to help clean it up.
We don’t realize it but all these little things would help our community and it doesn’t require too much of our time. I was taught to appreciate what I have in my life and my community is one of those many things. I appreciate my school and the teachers in it that help our community with education.
Another important thing is getting crime off our streets. Our community is full of crime and with the economy in as bad condition as it is now a lot of crime is going on. We need to find a way to cut down on crime and have more police patrolling our streets.
A good idea would be to have 25 percent of our police ride bikes during the summer to save on fuel in vehicles. That way there would not only be more police on our streets but also less pollution in our air that we breathe. I understand that most cities cannot afford more police but we need to cut back in other areas that we don’t need so much and use that money to help with safety and hire more police to protect the community.
Our police and our firefighters should be more appreciated than they actually are. They go out the everyday risking their lives to save ours. They b=never know what kind of crimes they will face until they face them. And they all have families of their own just as we do. My dad taught me to always honor our police and our firefighter and our soldiers fighting not only for our community but for our country!
God bless America and every one of us in it. I really think that as long as we all get along and help one another and look at each other the same no matter how different we really are we can all be the same deep down.
We are all humans and we should all be looked at equally. We tend to look at the little pictures and problems in life and don’t see the big picture and the big problems in our community. The more we can do for our community the less we need to rely on outsiders. We need to work together.
I love the community that I live in and I am proud of it. I take pride in it and I just hope that everyone feels the way I do. We can change for the better. Our community is our future so let’s move forward. MY COMMUNITY IS MY PRIDE….