Kiara Smith’s winning essay about the Environment

“Barbados is our home, our beautiful home.”

Kiara Smith of Providence Elementary School took 1st Place (and $1,250!!!) in the Age 9-13 category of the 2011 national Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest.

Here is Kiara’s winning essay…

Why is the environment important to Barbados?

Environment; what is the environment? Is it the trees, is it the sea, is it nature or is it our surroundings? Well, what can it be? For me, the environment is our surroundings, our nature, and our home. Now don’t we need to take care of our surroundings? Don’t we need to take care of our home? Yes we do. Why?

Barbados is our home, our beautiful home. So if you are driving along and decide to throw your used food and drink out of the window, what do you think will happen? Do you think nothing will happen? Then you’re extremely wrong! Barbados would start to look like a dump if everyone did that. Sooner or later, no one would want to visit us from overseas. The tourists would say “No way to Barbados!” they would want to go somewhere beautiful with places they can observe, not to a place to see garbage and pollution. If we destroy the beauty of our environment, no more tourists would come. No more tourists means no more foreign exchange for our country.

Now think about our plants, trees and animals. We can’t just think about ourselves and our homes and burn or destroy the plants and trees. These are some of our animals’ homes like the Bajan green monkey. Trees are also used by us for materials such as making furniture from the mahogany tree and plants help us with oxygen, the air we breathe. So we can’t pollute our environment, because we ourselves need it in Barbados, a clean healthy place to live. Not just for us, but the animals and plants and the fish.

The sea is absolutely special. You want to know why? Sometimes the sea is used to bring tourists to our beautiful island Barbados in those massive cruise ships. If we dare litter in the sea or in the water, our fish could die, like our lovely flying fish. Also turtles and fish would see our garbage and think that it’s food and may choke on it. The coral reef is also very beautiful. If you travel on a boat, or go diving, you shouldn’t take any coral. As a matter of fact, it is against the law in Barbados to do that, because it would be seen as stealing a part of the fish’s home.

So if it were you, I would get some facts and listen to what is important about the environment. Remember that is not all about you, it is about all our surroundings including the animals, plants, trees and gullies. The environment provides a home for the animals and we shouldn’t litter or treat Barbados like a dump. It is our home, it is a tourist attraction and we need to protect it now and always for future generations.

by Kiara Smith

Providence Elementary School, Barbados

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11 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Education, Environment

11 responses to “Kiara Smith’s winning essay about the Environment

  1. Pingback: Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest Winners Announced | Barbados Free Press

  2. stephen

    Wonderful. Perfect. Can she send a copy to everyone on the island, please?

  3. rhubarb

    Congratulations to Kiara and the other winners in this competition. And congratulations and thanks also to all the children who entered, to the teachers and parents who encouraged these children, and to the sponsors.

    Barbados needs all the help it can get from every child and adult in this beautiful Island if it is to become the litter-free country which we hope for.

  4. biased?

    I am sorry but I read an essay of a family member who submitted an entry and it was much better. This seems to me like the normal case of a predetermined winner that is prevalent in Barbados.

  5. GHNS

    The essay contest judges are teachers, and they used a criteria list to evaluate the submissions. Every essay was spot-checked for internet plagiarism, and unfortunately a number were disqualified for that. Some were written very well, so well in fact that the judges became convinced that the work was not an original work by a child.
    We were told by the judges that they struggled with the choices but in the end chose originality and passion that was most attuned to the question “Why is the environment important to Barbados?” To be sure there were very polished essays that ranked very high. But in the end the judges were most touched by the winning essays submitted by Ms. Smith and the other winners. By the way, the judges do not know any of the contests at all.

  6. Copied from The Nation
    He said the senior officer cut the fishing line and this resulted not only in the loss of the line, but also over 300 hooks and about 360 snaps and a similar number of lead swivels. He said he also lost more than 57 buoys.

    Sure didn’t help to keep the sea clean.

    Congratulations to Kiara

  7. biased?

    I hear what you are saying. My cousin is an exceptionally gifted young man who read and writes at a level that is beyond his age. He is very passionate about the environment and he was most disillusioned that he did not even place especially when he read the winning entries. I keep telling his parents that they need to migrate to a society where he can flourish instead of stunting him in myopic Barbados where he is seen as abnormal simply because he is so far ahead of other children his age

  8. Harry

    Well done, Kiara!

    Great essay.

  9. Green Monkey

    I have found from my own experience that teachers sometimes do underestimate the abilities of young children.

    A case in point: When I was in primary school (I must have been around 8 or 9 years old) I remember an incident where as a homework project we were assigned to write an essay on some topic of our choice. I had received sometime previously a child’s natural history book as a Christmas present, and we also had in the house an encyclopedia set for children, a gift to me and my siblings from my grandparents. I decided to write my essay on the topic of birds as I had found the entry on birds in the natural history book to be quite fascinating. So I pored my heart and sole into producing an essay all about birds. It’s a long time ago now, but as I remember it just about all of the information contained in my essay was gleaned from reading the natural history book and from the children’s encyclopedia set.

    Lo and behold, when I got the essay back after it had been marked by the teacher, I was astounded when the teacher told me that she couldn’t give me a good mark because it was obvious that it wasn’t really my own work. She said she could tell an adult must have helped me write the essay because it was just too well written and contained too much scientific knowledge to be the work of someone of my tender years. I went home in tears that day and feeling totally crushed. I remember feeling like the teacher had kicked me in the guts. When I told my parents what had happened, my father was really annoyed, and I remember him calling the headmistress of the school at home that same evening and explaining to her that I had written the essay entirely on my own, and whatever scientific knowledge was in the essay was knowledge that I had learned from my own research, using my own books and an encyclopedia we had available in the house. He also told her how devastating it was for me that the teacher had so easily and mistakenly dismissed my own hard work as being the work of an older person (presumably one or both of my parents).

    I can’t remember what happened after that (like I say, it was a long time ago), but I assume my mark for the essay was adjusted appropriately.

  10. GHNS

    It is painful to read some of these comments, but we appreciate them very much. The judging process was very, very difficult. The judges took extreme care to compare, log and verify similar syntax structures that were found in competing essays and on the internet. They were able to identify apparent contextual and phrase similarities written by certain students within the same classes, identified apparent grammatical differences on a single essay that suggested more than one writer was involved, and internet plagiarism.

    That said, we never want to risk underestimating any student who pours their heart and soul into an effort like this, and we want (and tried to) to give the benefit of the doubt.

    To “biased?” and “Green Monkey” – please don’t give up on us and this very first Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest just yet. We are sending letters out to all teachers who sponsored their students asking for guidance on how it can be done better next time, and what environmental topic might be appropriate.

    And to the nearly 60 essayists that competed – Thank You.

  11. 114

    well kiara speech was good but i think that it lack a bit of confidence and skills that she had in her life.