By Staff Reports
A Martinsville Middle School student has a few ideas to make her community a better place.
These ideas were so good that they won seventh grader Marjorie Davis top honors in Region 2 of the annual statewide “If I Were a Mayor” essay contest, sponsored by the Virginia Municipal League.
Her essay bested over 1,000 other entries in the contest where students were tasked with identifying a problem and weighing the opinions of community members to make a final decision.
Davis’ essay focused on combating the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. With her award-winning essay, Davis won a $150 check and accolades from her teachers and school administrators.
‘This year, Marjorie has achieved many of her goals as a student,” said Martinsville Middle School English teacher Melanie Rorrer. “It has been a pleasure watching her growth. She has flourished during a time when many students have struggled with their place in the virtual learning environment. Often, she is the first student to arrive in class, and the last student to leave. If ever she was unsure of her understanding, she would reach out to ask questions of Mr. Manns, Mrs. Newman, or myself. Because of this, I was not surprised by the thoughtful, well written essay submitted by Marjorie. I am thrilled that Marjorie was chosen as the Region 2 winner of the “If I Were Mayor” essay contest. I cannot think of a more deserving student. I am so proud.”
This was a sentiment also conveyed by the middle school’s English Learners teacher Chris Manns.
“I am exceedingly proud of Marjorie for being named the winner of the 2020-2021 ‘If I Were Mayor’ essay contest,” Manns said. “This honor is a reflection of the industry, discipline, and perseverance she has invariably demonstrated this academic year, in spite of the many challenges to learning presented by COVID-19. She is a true exemplar of an individual who garners accomplishments by confronting obstacles and challenges with determination and persistence instead of readily accepting defeat. Moreover, she is an inspiration to her peers and a joy to work with in the classroom. It is certain that she will go on to achieve even more wondrous things.”
Davis’ essay is below:
Due to COVID–19, life has not been the same for people around the world. In Martinsville, for example, children have not been able to go to school in person; the unemployment rate has surged; and public gatherings have been discouraged. As a result, members of the community have developed feelings of hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. In short, they need to be assured that things will improve. If I were mayor of Martinsville after the COVID-19 pandemic, I would perform several actions to benefit the community.
To start, I would collaborate with the local school board in the effort to return kids safely to school for face-to-face instruction. For example, while learning in a virtual environment, Martinsville students have struggled with attending classes and completing assignments because of home-based distractions and unreliable technology.
If students were able to go back to school, these issues would not interfere with their education. Besides, children tend to learn better in person; moreover, they are more likely to understand and complete their classwork. In addition, I would work with local employers to make sure that working conditions are appropriate for their employees. For instance, during the pandemic, many workers in Martinsville contracted the virus, in part, because employers did not enforce the use of masks or social distancing.
As mayor, I would hold employees accountable for supplying their employees with the materials to preserve their health and safety. Furthermore, I would put up a fundraiser and donate to people in need. To illustrate, the money would help homeless people, shelters, and hospitals. It would help people who lost their jobs or who are unemployed; in addition, the money could also help the city by building more homes.
In conclusion, if I were the mayor of Martinsville after the COVID-19 pandemic, I would perform several actions to benefit the community. First, I would let the kids go back to school in person. Second, I would let people that are unemployed go back to work. Lastly, I would put up a fundraiser and donate to people in need.