Student’s essay wins state contest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 1999

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / October 30, 1999

LAPLACE – Seven-year-old Taylor Atkinson is not your typical second- grader. When he isn’t winning awards for his anti-drug essays, Taylor isout cleaning up his school…on his own time.Taylor was awarded a medal by state Attorney General Richard Ieyoub Thursday for writing an essay called “Why it is Important to be Drug Free.” He won in the elementary school category for the entire state ofLouisiana.

Not only did Taylor write the essay, but he had to read it to a couple thousand people at the Red Ribbon Rally in Baton Rouge.

Asked if he was scared to read his essay to all those people, he shook his head emphatically.

“No big deal,” said Taylor.

Taylor said he wants to be a policeman when he grows up so he “can make the world safer.”Taylor is also very concerned about the environment and keeping the world clean. One day while riding in the car with his mother, he spotted one ofthose Adopt-A-Road signs and he got a great idea.

He went to his teacher and asked her if could adopt John L. Ory MagnetSchool. His teacher thought it was a wonderful idea, and the Taylor’sClean-Up Crew Club was born.

Taylor and eight of his classmates spend one afternoon a week after school cleaning up the outside of the school.

Taylor’s dedication can be summed up with his statement, “We have only one world, and if we don’t take care of it, we won’t have a world left.”

The following is Taylor Atkinson’s award-winning essay:

Why it is Important to be Drug Free It’s important to be drug free because it could mess up your life! If someone says, “Want to take this pill? It will make you strong.”Say, NO!!!! and tell a parent immediately. It can mess up your brain and itcan kill you! Also it will make you sick. Really, really sick! You might haveto go to the hospital until the new millennium! That is three and a half months! That is a lot! Also smoking is a drug. It makes your lungs black.That is why you should not take drugs.

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