Maui youths win peace poetry contest held
in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Kula Elementary student Ryan Noufer reads his grand prize poem  during the 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Peace Poetry Awards at Maui Community College in Kahului. Standing in the background (l-r) is poet Lawrence Hill, Noufer's teacher Rae Takemoto, awards coordinator/poet Melinda Gohn, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, and awards host/poet Ayin Adams. The ceremony on April 23 honored the late Dr. King and his nonviolent fight for civil rights in the United States.

KAHULUI, Maui - A fourth grade student at Kula Elementary School has been recognized as the Maui grand prize winner in the 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Awards Ceremony. Ryan Noufer received a grand prize certificate from Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and also an original painting from artist Peggy Robertson of Lahaina. Noufer wrote the poem, "War," focuses on hope for peace even in a place filled with violence such as Iraq. Close to 900 of students competed in the statewide event, sponsored by the Lahaina-based International Peace Poem Project, a statewide volunteer organization that encourages peace and non-violence through literacy. The organization includes artists, writers, business people, and teachers. More than 100 students, some coming from as far as Lanai, attended the event at Maui Community College in Kahului on April 23, recognizing the contributions of Dr. King, who demonstrated the use of non-violent means to achieve the goal of civil rights for all people in the United States. The poetry contest takes place in January, during Black History Month, including Dr. King's nationally celebrated birthday on Jan. 15. "Dr. King's dream lives on in the dreams of these Hawaii youths and in their great poetry," said Project coordinator Melinda Gohn. Mayor Arakawa said the diversity of ethnicities on Maui and their ability to work together served as an example for the rest of the world. The International Peace Poem Project has collected poetry about peace from more than 120 countries. Project officials were invited to celebrate the 2000 Millennium Peace Day in New York at the invitation of the United Nations. The Project, which started on the Valley Isle, conducts similar contests on Kauai, Hawaii and Oahu. The Project offers poetry lesson plans for teachers at its website PeacePoem.org. For more information, contact Melinda Gohn on Maui, 661-0517, or visit the Project's website at PeacePoem.org.

HONOLULU - A third grade student at Na`au School on Oahu has been recognized as the grand prize winner in the 6th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Awards Ceremony at the Mission Memorial Auditorium. Alec Dinsmore, 8, received a grand prize certificate and also an original acrylic painting of Dr. King created and donated by pop expressionist artist Davo. Dinsmore, the Oahu grand prize winner who was presented with a certificate and painting by Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, wrote the poem, "Ocean Of Peace," describing his vision of peace in the world and how peace can cool "the waters of hatred." Close to 900 of students competed in the statewide event, sponsored by the International Peace Poem Project, a statewide volunteer organization that encourages peace and non-violence through literacy. The organization includes artists, writers, business people, and teachers. Close to 300 people from as far as Kahuku and Sunset Beach attended the event in Honolulu on April 15, recognizing the contributions of Dr. King, who demonstrated the use of non-violent means to achieve the goal of civil rights for all people in the United States. The poetry contest takes place in January, during Black History Month, including Dr. King's nationally celebrated birthday on Jan. 15. "Dr. King's dream lives on in the dreams of these Hawaii youths and in their great poetry," said Project coordinator Melinda Gohn. The International Peace Poem Project has collected poetry about peace from more than 120 countries. Project officials were invited to celebrate the 2000 Millennium Peace Day in New York at the invitation of the United Nations. The Project, which started on the Valley Isle, conducts similar contests on Kauai, Hawaii and Maui counties. The Project offers poetry lesson plans for teachers at its website PeacePoem.org. For more information, contact Melinda Gohn on Maui, 661-0517, or email poem@maui.net

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman listens to Na`au School third grader Alec Dinsmore recite his grand prize winning poem in the Sixth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Awards. The ceremony took place Friday at Mission Memorial Auditorium in Honolulu Friday.

International Peace Poem Project Coordinator Melinda Gohn speaks during the Sixth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Awards at the Mission Memorial Auditorium in Honolulu. Behind her is the Reverend Kaleo Patterson and a church youth choir.

KAHULUI, Maui - Twenty-one Maui youths have been recognized for their peace poetry in a contest honoring the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King during Black History Month in February. Other winners will be receiving their awards at ceremonies on their island.

The contest was sponsored by International Peace Poem Project supporters who are creating the world's longest poem on peace, and who are planning to present the document to the United Nations in New York in October 2000. Certificates and a congratulatory letter from then Maui Mayor James Apana along with prizes were awarded to 17 winners who attended the ceremonies at Border's Store in Kahului with their teachers and families.

"I was overwhelmed with the simplicity and the clearness of their message," said Dr. Ayin Adams, a poet and film producer. Said Melinda Gohn, Peace Poem Coordinator, "Working with the poets of tomorrow is the real reward. We hope to have more next year." Apana said in his letter to the winners, "Your efforts exemplify the recognition that peace begins with each of us and that we must respect ourselves as well as each other."

Maui winners were Hana Elementary School students Noe-Keala Kapoi, Amanda Bolduc and Keisha Nakamura; Kalama Intermediate students Sara Matsumoto, Erin Wooldridge, Chase Decoite and Marci Ono; Sacred Hearts School student Marie Cochrane; Pukalani Elementary School students Ryan Kahae Kele, Jordan Tagorda, Kahea Ueshiro, Raenell Bacarro, Keola Williams, Stephanie Romena, Eric Snow, Tiana Chang, Shyla Kekona, Kayla Meyer, Jesse Prais and Andrew Calumpit.

Gohn said the prizes were donated by a number of Maui businesses and artists, including Sargent's Fine Art gallery, Lahaina Printsellers, Ellen Levinski, Kenny Hultquist, Kathryn Oxman, Eve Clute, Mike's Goof Shop, Bryan Debris, and George Allan.

"Let all people/No matter what color/Be treated equal/Let all people live in peace," said Pukalani Elementary student Keola Williams, one of the winners of the Peace Poem Contest. Standing in the background is one of the organizers, Dr. Ayin Adams.


"Make the world a meaningful place for all kinds of people/ See deep down in everyone's heart where some people still hurt," recited Hana Elementary sixth-grader Noe-Keala Kapoi in part of her peace poem. Kapoi reads her peace poem, as students from Hana listen in the background. Another Hana winner (right) was Amanda Bolduc read, in part, "Peace is something some people can't describe/Just a feeling that comes from inside."


Pukalani Elementary student Eric Snow recites his peace poem. Listening is project coordinator Melinda Gohn.


Another Pukalani winner was (right) Chase Decoite.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sacred Hearts School seventh-grader Marie Cochrane reads her peace poem, with project coordinator Melinda Gohn in the background. Part of Cochrane's poem read, "Dare to learn another culture. You will gain more knowledge and understand that all of our differences bring forth a unique combination that gives unity."  

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