VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local elementary school students are celebrating diversity through writing.

On Wednesday, the awards ceremony from the annual Diversity Writing Contest took place at Fuqua Elementary. Vigo County school Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Matthew McClendon presented the awards.

The prompt for this year’s Diversity Writing Contest was “What does diversity mean to you and why is it important?” Mcclendon says it’s phenomenal to hear what the students have to say.

“[It’s] just to highlight the beauty of diversity and we started with elementary school because it is important especially in today’s society with a lot going on, it’s good to highlight diversity from a child’s point of view which is very organic and heartfelt,” McClendon said.

Wednesday’s winners included three 2nd-graders, Leighanna of Mrs. Tames’s class, Ellie of Mrs. Smith’s class, and Zayla of Mrs. Hughes’s class.

Zayla wrote;

“Diversity means to respect everyone for who they are. It matters what’s on the inside, not the outside. It does not matter if they are black, white, or bold. Some people are big and some people are small but that does not matter.”

Ellie wrote;

“Diversity means that we are different in our own ways. Don’t look on the outside, just look what’s on the inside because the outside does not matter. But the inside is so important you won’t even know.

Diversity is important because if we didn’t have it everyone (would) be like the same person and that would not be fun, so that is why I love diversity, it is amazing!”

Leighanna wrote;

“Diversity means you accept everybody, big, small, short, or even tall. You see, I love diversity because you are different than me, I am different than you, we’re all different.

Brown, black, peach, white, or even mixed, you should not be shameful, it’s ok. You’re amazing in your own way. Be thankful, just be you!

You should like you, I like you, and me.

Diversity is good if you have a box of crayons and they’re all yellow or blue, would you get the right picture?

You shine to me, I shine too.”

Other schools in the area will hold their award presentations throughout the coming weeks.