Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Peace Poetry Contest

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's a poetry contest held in honor of the late Doctor Martin Luther King Junior.

Thousands of students across the state enter the contest, and today the Oahu winners were announced.

Martin Luther king junior had a vision of peace.

"Back in those days it wasn't the same, he was a man we needed to trust, because of our rights he set people free, now we don't have to sit in the back of the bus," said Kalihiwaena School 5th Grader Jayson Tagataese.KHNL-DekoMOSgwy

More than a thousand students participated in this year's event which encourages students to seek and resolve conflicts through non-violent means and express those ideas through poetry.

"I'm keeping the world peaceful by writing this poem and letting everybody hear it out that you should not use guns for violence," said Ewa Beach Elementary School, 4th Grader Valentine Doria Junior.

Today the winners shared their winning poems received certificates during an awards ceremony at Mission Memorial Auditorium. Parents were pleased with the theme of the contest and happy that kids are being educated about the importance of living together in harmony.

"He sees the news, he knows about the war, he has relatives already in the war, and he's totally against it, I guess that's his personal motivation, to write that poem," said proud parent Valentine Doria Senior.

Martin Luther King Junior's life ended violently. And these kids are hoping their poems will serve as a reminder that there are other ways to resolve their differences.

This year's grand prize winner was Keoni Storey, an 11th grader from Kahuku high and intermediate school. The teacher of the year was Lois-Ann Yamanaka of Na'au school in Honolulu.