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KMS student wins Alaska Municipal League's Essay Contest

Maria Velasco


Mrs. Lhotka’s sixth-grade students recently participated in a statewide essay contest sponsored by the Alaska Municipal League. Designed specifically for Alaska sixth-grade students, the essay aims to elicit the suggestions and opinions of a younger generation about their municipal government leadership and communities. The contest gives students a chance to use their language arts skills, experience and knowledge to creatively voice an opinion on what their generation perceives as the needs of the municipalities they live in. 


The essay question posed to students was, “If I were Mayor, I would…” and Kodiak Middle School’s very own Maria Velasco rose to the occasion and deliver the winning essay for our District.  Congratulations, Maria!


Maria Velasco’s AML Essay Submission:


If I Were Mayor, I would…


If I were mayor, I would attempt to diminish a serious issue in our community: child abuse.  One major reason we need to stop child abuse is because it can be fatal. More than four children die of abuse on a daily basis in the United States alone.  An additional point to consider is that children who suffer from abuse are far more prone to abuse their offspring, creating a cycle full of dread.  In addition, the state of Alaska has the most reported child abuse, and the numbers are only getting higher with 13% of children having suffered from maltreatment.


So what’s the solution?  Opponents say there is no possible way to eliminate all cases of child maltreatment, that is factual, however, we can reduce the number of cases.  One solution that I believe could work would be to create a program that teaches children that it’s not wrong to report mistreatment, as they are not at fault.  After all, 95% of children know-who their perpetrator is, and less then a fourth of them have reported them.  Not to mention, most children often blame themselves for the wrongdoings of their abusers.  


Another possible solution would be to give more funds to investigate reported cases.  We could start a fundraiser to cover the money needed, I’m certain people would cooperate.  These solutions might not be effective, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.



“Abuse of Alaska children even worse than grim stats suggest, study says”