Students challenged to ‘Build a Better World’


The “Build a Better World in Marshalltown” challenge featured an opportunity for participants to write down their ideas for improving their community, as part of the Marshalltown Public Library’s summer reading program. Students who chose to complete this summer reading “challenge” were asked to write what they liked about Marshalltown, what they thought could make the community better, and how they could contribute to a better community.

The Not in Our Town (NIOT) committee, whose mission is to “proactively address bullying issues in our community to foster mutual respect,” sponsored a prize of Chamber Bucks for each winning student. All entrants earned credit toward summer reading points for participating.

Three winning entries were selected.

“We have many incredibly thoughtful and creative kids in our community. Their comments offer a unique perspective through their eyes, that the adults in the community may lose focus on from time to time,” said one of the contest judges, Amanda Accola, a NIOT committee member. “It’s exciting to see these what these students may do to emerge as leaders in the community!”

The winning students:

• Klo Hsi, 12;

• Ella Rose Reynolds, 8

• Savannah Piper, 11.

Youth Services Librarian Joa LaVille said she enjoyed reading the student entries, and was relieved to not have to choose a winner.

“So many students mentioned how they try to improve their community by picking up litter and being kind to others,” she said. La- Ville, who is also a NIOT committee member, was also happy to see many of the students express appreciation for local parks and trails, the police department, local sports opportunities and facilities, and local businesses.

The winning entries:

• Savannah Piper: What I really like about Marshalltown is Fareway, the Aquatic Center, the new Mega 10 Park, Grimes Farm, the Orpheum, and Plaza 9 theaters. I wish Marshalltown could have a petting zoo or mini golf place. We would need the room from Kmart to put an indoor petting zoo. Our family donates body care items and paper goods to the House of Compassion for people who need a place to stay and stuff to take care of themselves.

• Klo Hsi: What I really like about Marshalltown is that it has a nice library where I can freely read and enjoy. I really like the schools because they have great teachers that influence us to do better. I wish that there was no bullying happening in any place because we want people to know Marshalltown’s a safe place. Another wish is that everybody would recycle. We need to teach the benefits of recycling and show them what would happen if nobody recycles. I try hard to clean up messes, recycle, and encourage others to do so.

• Ella Rose Reynolds: What I really like about Marshalltown is that it has lots of good schools and it also has good places to eat. I wish we had a big community garden and most of the stuff we grow there will be donated to people who can’t afford food. There would also be schools with classes for kids above their grade level. I could have a fundraiser to get money for gardening supplies. I donate my stuff to people who need it. I also can be friendly to people.