On Saturday, May 21, 26 students from Alachua County schools will read their peace poems aloud at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship as winners of the 2022 Peace Poetry Contest.
The 12th annual Peace Poetry Contest began in January, inviting all K-12 students of Alachua County schools, both public and private, to submit one poem on what peace and social justice means to them. A team of community writers and poets judged the almost 200 poems submitted, according to age group.
From those poems, 26 students were chosen to perform their pieces on May 21st and will have their winning poems published in the 2022 Peace Poetry booklet. Winners also receive a certificate of accomplishment and a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
Though this contest holds no formal position on the current state of world affairs, we still want to honor the ideal of peace through the perspectives of young people. Peace is a uniquely human conception and affirms the human spirit. It is especially important to remember that peace is not merely a goal but a human right. In that spirit of reflection, we are very pleased with the success of this year’s contest.
We would especially like to thank the many teachers who encourage their students to participate every year, and to all the young poets who wrote such beautiful, moving poems.
Veterans for Peace will also be awarding four, $1,500 Peace Scholarships at the Peace Reception. VFP created these scholarships to give financial support to students who are planning careers in pursuit of a more equitable, peaceful, and just world. The four selected winners have demonstrated commitment and leadership activities involving peace and social justice, conflict resolution and nonviolent social change. For names and more information about the 2022 Peace Scholarship winners please contact us.
This year’s reading will be held on Saturday, May 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville (4225 NW 34th St.), from 2pm to 4pm. The event will include inspiring readings by the student poets and music by Alivia Regan Hunter, an 18-year-old singer/songwriter. Refreshments will be served after the program. The program is free and open to the public.
For more information on the 2022 Peace Poetry Reading and Peace scholarships, please contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 831-334-0117. For a peek at the video of the 2019 Peace Poetry reading, go to http://www.vfpgainesville.org/. We ask that the audience and participants wear masks when not reading poems.
To learn more about the Peace Scholarship award and this year’s winners, check out: https://gainesvilleiguana.org/2022/articles/vfp-awards-1500-to-four-peace-scholarship-recipients/.
Below is a list of all winning poets in the 2022 contest. Keep an eye on vfpgainesville.org for a video of the 2022 reception and full access to the Peace Poetry book containing all winning poems.
Jaylah Hines, Grade 1, Caring and Sharing Learning School
AuNiyah Singleton, Grade 1, Caring and Sharing Learning School
Alyssa Robinson, Grade 2, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
Cole Carpenter, Grade 5, Kimball Wiles Elementary School
Landon Chase, Grade 5, Hidden Oak Elementary School
Lily Harrell, Grade 5, Hidden Oak Elementary School
Noelle Hurley, Grade 5, Hidden Oak Elementary School
Sophia Knoerle, Grade 5, Hidden Oak Elementary School
Miko Shitama, Grade 5, Jordan Glen School
August Zhang, Grade 5, Hidden Oak Elementary School
Lillian Tomlinson, Grade 6, Oak View Middle School
Avery Zappini, Grade 6, Jordan Glen School
Daley Callum, Grade 7, Jordan Glen School
Asher Case, Grade 7, Jordan Glen School
Noah Gorme, Grade 7, Jordan Glen School
Rekhi Kinsey, Grade 7, Howard Bishop Middle School
Cyrus Fariborzian, Grade 8, Queen of Peace Catholic Academy
Autumn Frenchman, Grade 8, Jordan Glen School
Carley Loeffler, Grade 8, Queen of Peace Catholic Academy
Quan Tran, Grade 8, Queen of Peace Catholic Academy
Nolan Van Riper, Grade 8, Queen of Peace Catholic Academy
Maya Allen, Grade 9, Gainesville High School
DeShawn Davis, Grade 10, Newberry High School
Isabel Padron, Grade 11, St. Francis Catholic Academy
Aedan Schneck, Grade 11, St. Francis Catholic Academy
Jaxson Christie, Grade 12, P.K. Yonge Developmental School