First grader’s writing talent wins prize for her school

May 23, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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A Brooklyn first grader is teaching her fellow students important lessons in kindness. And she’s plenty of winning recognition for it. Francesca Foster, who attends Brooklyn Ascend Charter School, won the grand prize in the “There’s Always Time for Kindness” a national student essay contest sponsored by The Be Kind People Project, a non-profit organization in Phoenix which strives to instill a sense of community and charity in children.

The writing contest was open to public, private and home-schooled students across the U.S. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade were asked to write an essay on the benefits of taking the time to do something kind for their classmates, family, friends, and the community at large. The winner was announced earlier this month.

Francesca contributed an illustrated essay called “Be Kind” and won the Lower Elementary category. Her essay conveys the power of kindness and the positive actions students can take to express kindness in their schools, homes and communities, according to contest organizers, who said her essay was filled with good ideas.

“These are some ways to be kind. When you are home help your parents in the house. You can help your mom and dad clean up,” Francesca wrote. “If you have brothers or sisters help them with their homework. Also, be kind to your friends. If they are sad try to talk to them or smile by telling a joke. You can be kind to people in your community. If you see someone that needs help you can ask them nicely, ‘How can I help you? Do you need help?’” she wrote.

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Brooklyn Ascend Charter School, at 205 Rockaway Parkway, received a $1,000 prize from The Be Kind People Project on Francesca’s behalf.  Every student at the school received an array of prizes that included a Be Kind People Project silicone sports watch, reflecting the organization’s belief that when it comes to educating children, every minute counts. 

The prizes were recently distributed to Principal Brandon Sorlie, Francesca’s teacher Natasha Primo, and the students.

“Our ultimate goal is to recognize teachers while ensuring that kindness becomes a vital and ongoing part of students’ lives,” said Marcia Meyer, founder of The Be Kind People Project. “The national writing contest provides a unique opportunity for students to use the written word to demonstrate their commitment to kindness and show how they are actively engaged in extending good to others,” she said. 

To view Francesca’s “Be Kind” essay and other winning entries, visit

The Be Kind People Project has developed a national program of classroom events, contests and Classroom Kindness Kits that teach kids it is “cool” to be kind, contest organizers said. The Be Kind People Project was recently featured by USA Today as one of the top 10 nonprofits making a difference in the country.

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