Submitted by students at PS 88 in Queens, New York

amanda

I would be willing to stand up for animal rights. I think all animals should be protected because they are just as important as humans. I have been thinking a lot about the ways we as humans abuse animals and it makes me very upset inside. People kill animals for many reasons: for food, for game, for clothing, and in some cultures, animals are killed as they are seen as having magical powers.  Have you ever seen a fur coat and thought about how it was created? And then have you ever thought about how many other fur coats are out there and how many animals it requires to create one coat? It is shocking. The animal is first killed, and then they shave off its skin, and then that pelt is sewn together with other pelts to create a coat. Many, many pelts are needed. I have now decided to become a vegetarian, as I do not think we should kill and eat creatures that have been walking on this earth. I think we need to have more respect for animals and understand their value and importance on this earth. – Amanda Ramos, 5th grade at PS88, Queens, New York

rose

I realize more and more that people do not care about the air that they breathe.  I would be willing to stand up for being an advocate for keeping the air that we breathe clean and safe. People are smoking, fumes from cars are being spewed out, and factories are creating gases and toxins that are also affecting the air quality.  What can we do as people? People should be more considerate about others when it comes to smoking, thinking first about where they are and who will be affected.  People should also take more public transportation and not be so attached to their cars.  Cars create a lot of air pollution and just think about our lungs and how they are dealing with taking in dirty fumes.  And I think car manufacturing companies need to be more mindful when it comes to the amount of cars that are being produced. These car factories produce terrible waste into the air. People think buying a Prius is being environmentally wise, but in the end the factory burns so much waste and that is not good.  Everyone needs to do some thinking about the air that we breathe and how we can make it cleaner and healthier for all. – Rose Saad, 10 years old at PS88, Queens, New York

jasselin

At my school students do not have any choices when it comes to lunchtime.  I would be willing to stand up for students having the right to decide what choices should be available at lunch.  I want healthy choices, and I do not feel there are healthy choices available.  I think schools are the places where students have the opportunity to learn about nutrition and healthy eating routines, and the choices at PS88 are not healthy. The choices are fried and covered in butter and there is not enough green to choose from.  I realize that the lunch aides at the school are working very hard. But I am wondering if the lunch aides and a team of students could work together to develop a menu of healthy options.  I would like to see this happen.  Also students have a lot of different food allergies, and so this should come into consideration as well.  I think there should be a big soup and salad bar and then four different hot meal options.  This way everyone would be happy and able to select the foods that best appeal to them. – Jasselin Jurado, 5th grade at PS88, Queens, New York