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Eighth grade student Coleman won first place in his school in The Village Network’s essay contest where Wayne County students were invited to submit essays about foster care. Coleman’s language arts teacher, Ann Gerber, assigned The Village Network’s essay prompt, “why it’s important to help children” to her class at Norwayne Middle School. Gerber said she was excited to give her students a practical assignment and said conversations about foster care occurred in the classroom as a result of the project.

Jessica Robinson, licensing specialist at The Village Network, visited the school last Monday to announce Coleman as the winner of Norwayne Middle School’s eighth grade class.

“I was very impressed with this school and their care for the students, this experience far surpassed my expectations,” Robinson said. “This was a great learning experience for the entire eighth grade language arts class at Norwayne Middle School.”

Read Coleman’s winning essay below:

Coleman, the essay winner, and his 8th grade teacher Mrs. Gerber.It is said that foster care consists of a minor who is put into a home temporarily by the state when they have nowhere else to go. But as any foster parent will tell you, it’s much more than that. Providing a loving home for someone is a deed nobody can repay you for, it’s the biggest gift to receive. Helping out these poor boys and girls would have a monumental positive effect on the planet. There are so many reasons to help these little ones; maybe after hearing a few, you’ll think about aiding the struggle.

When it comes to why we should help the kids of the world in need, there are too many reasons to count! The biggest of which, in my opinion, is that they are our future! Eventually, we will “pass the torch”, so to speak, and they will be the ones running this world. If these kids are going to grow up to be leaders, they need a loving and supportive home life. If a child grows up in a bad home life, whether it be because of their parents or simply the lack thereof, they will grow up with less happiness inside them, making it harder to bring happiness into the world. In a more literal sense, if a child grows up in a bad situation, they might have a harder time with social skills, or even worse, it may affect their behavior.

Another reason these kids need the help, is because they deserve it. Do you think these little boys and girls did something to deserve this kind of life? They didn’t do anything to deserve that lifestyle; no one has. I wouldn’t wish not having a whole, permanent family on my worst enemies. Those children that put up with that life every day are the strongest people around. The fact that these kids are being put through the tremendous stress and pain that the foster care system can sometimes bring is a reason to help them all in itself.

The fact that these children were dealt such a bad hand in the game of life means they need all the help that they can get. There are plenty of opportunities to do anything, from as small as a donation, to as large as an adoption. To the people that are presently assisting in the foster system, I take my hat off to you. You sacrifice everything you have to help those in need, and that’s a tremendous feat. Also, for the kids in the system, they go through so much as it is, so getting the gift of a loving family and home is a pretty beautiful thing if you ask me. If we all decided to pitch in to help them out, whether it be a little or a whole lot, this world will be affected for the better!

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Chelsea & Jenny work on an mural at Franklinton Preparatory
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