Three Kualapuu Public Charter School students were notified yesterday that they had been selected as winners of the 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest.
The school received congratulatory letters from the International Peace Poem Project that coordinates the annual contest.
Sixth grader Chloey Tuisamatatele, from Kim Link’s class, received first place for her poem. From Diane Abraham’s fourth grade class, Evelyn Haase took first place while Alia Gomes-Madela placed second.
“I was excited that I won,” said Tuisamatatele. She said she is looking forward to meeting Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa on May 14 when the winners will recite their poems and receive certificates.
Mayor Arakawa will also present the Maui Grand Prize and the Teacher of the Year award at the event at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center.
“To hear that I won was the best,” said Haase, who won with her poem titled, “When Peace Happens.” “My family was very excited for me.”
Haase said her poem was inspired by the novel “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. “I also felt that this (poem) is what peace is to me.”
“I feel excited that I get the experience to go to Maui and meet the mayor,” said Gomes-Madela. Her poem is titled, “Peace is Doves Flying.” Gomes-Madela plans to have her extended family on Maui join her at the event. “They will be there to cheer me on.”
Haase admitted that she was “a little nervous” to be asked to read her poem at the awards event. “I never feel comfortable in front of a whole lot of people.”