2019 Grades K-2 Winner

Kaelyn Love, 1st grade, Council Rock Primary School


Nutcracker Ballet

I was strong when I was in the Nutcracker Ballet. I listened to the teacher and I understood.  My mind grew stronger.  I also had to focus to follow the steps.  I had two different parts, a mouse and an angel.  My legs got tired, but I have a strong body.  I had to practice a lot.  I cared about other people when I was in the Nutcracker.  I cared about what the other dancers were doing.  I cared about the people watching.

I was proud of myself because I did well.  Someday I want to become a ballet teacher.


2019 Grades 3-5 Winner

Lily Barczys, 4th grade, Taylor Elementary School

Character Counts

Bad sportsmanship really hurts. Cheating happens like someone getting a sneaky move to win or change something. Poor sports are trying to get under your skin. All kids and adults feel anger and disappointment when this happens. In every sports game you play most of the time somebody does the opposite of sportsmanship. Like in a soccer game, the player on the other team does not shake your hand at the end of the game, instead they just stand there and dodge your hand. It does not feel good to be ignored by friends, parents, and most of all someone you don’t really know. It’s hard to not feel any pain.

Being kind and caring is a big part of sports. Not the winning and not the losing, just the kindness in your heart that encourages you to make that smart move. It may not be giving the other player a hug, but it could be congratulating them or telling the other team how they did a great job even though they lost, or you lost. In all games there should be an act of kindness. Character counts is a big part of all sports!!


2019 Grades 6-8 Winner

Elizabeth Komara, 8th grade, Geneva Middle School

I Am Strong

When someone has strength of the body, mind and heart, they are able to achieve all of their goals and dreams. It is important to be strong in all three areas because they are each different and important in their own ways. All three combined creates an unstoppable girl!

Strength of the body is super vital in order to be on the path of healthiness and success. Body strength isn’t just being able to do 50 pushups. It is to be happy and healthy! Sports are a great way to stay fit, for they are fun and rewarding. Sports require hardwork and perseverance. People will never be able to reach any goal if they just give up when things get hard. It is a reminder that valuable things, whether a trophy, or simply progress, won’t be handed to you. Success requires perseverance, especially throughout the rough times. That applies in sports, but most importantly in life.

Strength of the mind is necessary for the mental aspect of success. The mind has to be strong to withstand negativity, and put positivity into your thoughts. Our mind is in control of how we respond to things, good or bad. It needs to know how to react respectfully yet powerfully to disbelievers, and to not let the hate get to you. Also how to be humble when dealing with compliments, because it’s not good for praise to make someone’s head too big. Like in sports, we need to remember to not get too proud and bold, for there could always be someone better. We all need an equal balance of confidence and modesty, since it is an important step in accomplishing our ambitions.

Strength of the heart may even be the most important. Having this strength represents kindness and love among your entire journey. We all have to be kind to everyone we meet, and lots of times we can make new friends. In sports people are constantly competing, but regardless of the competitive surroundings, many make tons of bonds through being a good sport and being kind. Being a good person anywhere and everywhere truly sets you up for success. In life, those types of people make a true difference in this world with their kind heart and genuine spirit.

In conclusion, all three of these strengths are key to achieving your aspiration! When they are put together, amazing things can happen. They are all imperative in the path it takes to achieve one’s dreams! People can practice these all in activities like sports, which prepares them for success and happiness in real life!


2019 Grades 9-12 Winner

Ellen Henry, 10th grade, Pittsford Mendon High School

Strength through Adversity

You sprint up the court, panting. You can’t breathe. Each step requires more grit than you knew you had in you. But you continue, giving everything you have despite the intense pain. By the time you reach the foul line, you’re gasping for air. You jump up and swat the opposing player’s layup into the stands, listening as the crowd roars with excitement.

You’re slumped in the corner of the locker room as a flash flood of tears drenches your splotchy red face. Your team just lost the state championship by two points. But then you get up from the dirty tile floor and look at your teammates; you tell them to stop crying. You tell them that they should be proud that they left everything they had on the court. Finally, you tell them about how the team is going to come back next year, stronger and more motivated. This loss will fuel you to victory.

Your ears ring with the piercing screams of fans, doing everything in their power to discourage, distress, and distract you. But you shut them out and concentrate as you sink the free throw that puts your team up one in the fourth quarter.

In each of these instances, you rose up and kept fighting despite the deterrents and obstacles in your path. You demonstrated strength of the body, heart, and mind to carry you through some of the toughest moments in your sports career, ultimately leading you and your team to success. By continuing to push through, you made yourself stronger and inspired your teammates to do their best. Challenging yourself and working through difficulty develops strength –physically, emotionally, and mentally.

When you consistently display drive and tenacity, you will see results in your performance and attitude. In this way, others will recognize your dedication, and you will earn their respect. This is true in any of life’s challenges. Healthy lifestyle choices are an essential part of your daily life; physical health enhances your ability to work harder and longer, allowing you to be unhindered by sickness or exhaustion. In addition, emotional strength is an important component of success because it helps you be an excellent teammate and friend. When you manage your emotions well, you will never be held back by fear or anxiety. You will, however be able to connect with your teammates, building close connections and trust, resulting in a stronger team. Finally, mental strength will allow you to be a dexterous thinker who concentrates and is not deterred by confusion or difficulty, but welcomes challenge.

By pushing yourself on and off the court, you will develop physical, emotional, and mental strength, becoming the best teammate and competitor. When you can’t breathe, smile, or think, it may seem like you are at your breaking point. No, this is when you become strong, when you learn, when you grow. So continue to push yourself; your strength will allow you to be successful on or in any field you choose.


2019 Group Entry Winner

Alexis Maysick, Lilian Godfrey, and Chloe Fuller, 3rd grade, Churchville Elementary School

Citizenship is be kind and saying kind words.  Also citizenship is being helpful.  And playing fair and listening to the rules.  Another fact is sharing is caring.

The body is strong because you have 206 bones that keep you strong.  The body also recovers after an ingrey.  The body also requires the mind and the heart.  The mid is what you say.  The heart is saying something nice to another person.

Speaking up and speaking out is communicating with a team or communitie.  It is communicating with someone when someone is hurt or injured.  It is also standing up for yourself.  Also working together is speaking up.

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