By Judy Reed
The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students last week in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis, Donna Clark and Bea Hesley.
Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “We talked about having integrity and the 4 way formula (is it the truth, is it fair, will it build goodwill, will it be beneficial) and how it ties in with habits of mind,” explained Clark. “People who live by these have integrity and impact their community in a positive way. We told them to think about one of these that they practiced in their own lives—a real life situation that would touch us, and told them to write about it.”
The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 14 essays, they chose five. There were ties for second and third place.
“We feel like these essays were the best ever,” said Clark.
The two second place essays were about volunteering to feed hungry families. The third place winners wrote stories about how a community can work together to benefit one another, such as the fundraisers for the Rickers.
The first place winner spoke about how things people say can be cruel, but we can choose to be inspired rather than let their words have a bad effect on us.
The first place winner was Sally Odren, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View. She won $50.
Second place winners were Jack Cairy, of Mrs. Kahler’s class, and Makenna Nichols, of Mrs. Miller’s class, both at Cedar View. They each won $25.
Third place winners were Josh Trendt, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View, and Analiese Van Harten, of Mrs. Norman’s class at CTA. They each won $10.
“We as Rotarians are aware of the example we set as individuals and as a Club in our community,” said Noreen. “As community leaders and partners, we are mindful of what we think, say and do.”
The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
This is the ninth year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.