April 18, 2004 -Walking might not stop child abuse or sexual assault, but about 200 St. Thomas residents Saturday figured that a showing of strength against these deviate behaviors would help draw attention to the problem.
Students, parents and supporters walked from Holy Family Church to Tutu Park Mall in protest of what many see as a growing problem in the territory.
The walk was part of the Family Resource Center's 4th Annual Children and Youth Against Abuse March and Rally. Marchers met at the church grounds at 1 p.m. and walked to the mall where students performed poetry, dance and pantomime before shoppers.
"This year we decided to do something different," Anice Wilson, social worker, said. "We had a poetry contest." All third-grade and forth-grade students in public and private schools were asked to submit original poems about child abuse.
"We had five schools participate, with Wesleyan Academy providing 25 out of the total 43 poems we received," Wilson said. The other schools submitting poems were: Prophecy Elementary, Tutu Church of God Academy, Ulla Muller Elementary and Peace Corp Elementary.
Winners of the poetry contest were:
First place – Angelique Fleming of Tutu Church of God Academy
Second place – Nekwan Sprauve of Prophecy Elementary
Third place – Ja'Mamda Freeman of Prophecy Elementary
Fourth place – Marliqua Davies of Wesleyan Academy
Fifth place – Melissa Brown of Wesleyan Academy
"This year we had a lot of the children come out, and we had a lot of participation in the poetry contest," Wilson said.
Nana Babies Children Home, Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone and the University of the Virgin Islands Social Science Club also showed up to support the group.
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