Vol. 17, no. 4
September -- October, 2005
Youth Honor Awards
Peace and War: Countries, Communties, Families
The 2005 Youth Honor Awards
The following students and youth groups are being honored for their creative work promoting an understanding of cultural diversity and ecological sensitivity. Our Hearty Congratulations to
The Awards: The winners of the 2005 Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards will receive: an honor award certificate, five multicultural and nature books, and a subscription to Skipping Stones. Award winners are also invited to become a member of our Student Review Board.
The current issue, Sept. - Oct. 2005 (Vol. 17, No. 4) features the winning entries and honorable mentions. In addition to the Youth Honor Awards, it also contains many articles, poems, photos and stories by children and adults around the world.
Looking Ahead: We encourage students ages 7 to 17 to enter the 2006 Youth Honor Awards by sending their very best entries by June 20, 2006 on multicultural awareness and/or nature appreciation.
About Skipping Stones: We are a global, nonprofit, noncommercial magazine for today's youth. For 17 years we have encouraged cooperation, creativity and a celebration of cultural and ecological richness. Our issues feature original art and writing by children and adults from everywhere. Youth from overseas countries and under- represented populations are especially encouraged to share their experiences and ideas. Subcriptions: $25 ($35, for schools & libraries); multiple-copy & low-icome discount.
For more information, please contact:
Arun Toke', Executive Editor
Where Are You From?
The White Koi
The pond is a bubble of transparent blue in the white morning sunlight. I remember an Indian girl sitting on the warmed wood of the bridge, one baggy knee sock pushed down to the ankle, sitting on her haunches like a cat, the folds of her pleated skirt draped like a deep shadow upon her thighs. She reaches one skinny, tanned arm out and touches the surface of the water. One finger, like a raindrop, causes the flawless skin of the water to ripple in concentric circles, embracing the mirror-like face of the pond. She tosses her head back and the black hair flies out behind her. She giggles in delight, a short, tinkling laugh reminiscent of a handmade wind chime, and her brown eyes twinkle. "The fish kissed my finger," she calls over her shoulder.
Her friends gather around her and play with the large, white koi fish. An African girl with a sunny smile laughs as the fish flits from her hand, then turns and touches its mouth to her skin. A blond boy with dinner-plate blue eyes grins and tosses a bit of fish food onto the surface, pointing animatedly as the morsel disappears. A Chinese girl in a neat, bouncing ponytail and smiling, shining eyes delicately takes off one shoe and dabbles her toes in the edge of the now undulating surface of the sparkling pond.
Their voices are like a rainbow, beautiful colors side by side, rippling, sparkling and clean, and unforgettable. Soon, they gather their things, chattering, and trip off toward school. I wander toward the pond. The white koi with pearly, iridescent scales looks placidly at me. Its mouth opens, closes, and opens again. In this light, it's easy to see each movement of the dark orbs of his eyes. For a moment, I think I see in those eyes the wisdom of a thousand years.
-- Saumya Kini, 15,
"I wrote this piece after seeing a group of
children of different races playing near a
koi pond. I have been taking Indian classical
singing lessons for eight years now. My most
avid interest is learning Japanese."
Toward a Peace-Seeking New Year
"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, former president of the U.S.
The beginning of a new school year offers us the chance for a fresh start. All of us, students, parents, and teachers, have the opportunity to do things differently, to take some risks, to be a little bit better.
Peace is on many people's minds right now. Our children, husbands, friends and relatives, and former students are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while many of us are still struggling to recover from our generation's tragic war in Vietnam.
The US Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. War deprives us of our rights. Our children, our nation, and our world deserve peace.
How can we change this cycle of violence? Is it inevitable that every generation of young people go off to fight rather than use their brilliance and energy to create, heal, and contribute good to our society?
Here at home, in our roles as nurturers and teachers of the next generation, what can we do to instill a thirst for peace and an understanding of the hard, glorious, unsung work it takes?
How do we teach young people to build understanding and trust, to stand strong and insist that our leaders find nonviolent ways to deal with differences? How can we work toward a world where children grow up seeking alternatives to war?
Let's start this school year with a focus on peace. Regardless of NCLB and its mind-numbing, curriculum-undermining requirements, we can move ahead with our own agendas. How do we begin? I have been reviewing many old and new resources so I can recommend some. For teachers, several sources stand out:
-- Mary Meredith Drew
Skipping Stones Magazine