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Maura Loberg Wins Lions Club International Essay Contest

Posted: 01 February, 2013

WAYNE - Maura Loberg, a sixth grade student at Wayne Community School has been named the grand prize winner of the 2012-2013 Lions Club International Essay Contest for visually impaired youth.The winning entry was announced today during the “Lions Day at the United Nations” event in New York City.

The Wayne Lions Club sponsored Loberg's essay, which was selected based on her ability to convey this year's theme, "Imagine Peace" into her writing.
The Lions International Essay Contest, sponsored by Lions Clubs International, encourages visually impaired children ages 11-13 to express what peace means to them.
Loberg will receive the international grand prize award and US$5,000 for winning the competition, and will be honored at the Lions Clubs International Convention in Hamburg, Germany in July. 
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in 207 countries and geographical areas around the world.  Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.  Learn more about the Lions International Essay Contest at www.lionsclubs.org.

Below is Loberg's winning essay, titled "Pieces of Peace."

Pieces of Peace
By Maura Loberg, Age 11, Nebraska, USA
In English class, we learned about homophones which are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. I think of the words “piece” and “peace” and realize I am a piece of the peace puzzle. Like a puzzle, our world consists of many types of people that are separated by color, religions, money and many other reasons. It is hard to fit together and live next to each other if not positioned the right way.

My ideas to help aid world peace include better communication, more respect for each other’s differences and the opportunity to dream for a more peaceful planet.

One solution to peace would be to try to communicate more and try to get along. I am blind (since birth) and I understand about communication. I rely on my listening skills and I hear a lot of things in the way people talk to each other. I am different than other students in my school because of my blindness, but a lot of students have other differences that they are dealing with.

Another solution is for people to work on respecting one another more. People have to have open minds and be willing to share their ideas to solve problems…but they won’t do that if they fear being laughed at and not respected.
A third piece to this puzzle of peace is for people to imagine and dream things can change. For generations people have used their imaginations to come up with new ways to solve old problems. Allowing people to be creative is always a good way for a positive change.

Putting puzzles together can be challenging but rewarding. Pieces all look different and come in many different shapes and sizes. That should never be a reason to give up. With communication, respect and dreams, we can all be a piece of peace. That is a world that I hope to see.

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