Winning poems from children in CA and IL
Washington, D.C., January 5, 2015 -- Today, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, announced the winners of the 13th annual National Bird Day poetry contest. In the fall, children ages 5 to 18 were invited to submit original poems around the theme “Poetry Uncaged,” reflecting the plight of exotic birds in captivity, the pet bird trade, and the dangers to birds in the wild: the focus of National Bird Day (January 5, 2015). Winning submissions came from children in California and Illinois.
The winning poems were posted today on the Born Free USA and National Bird Day websites and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Born Free USA’s national magazine, Animal Issues Digest. The children also received tee shirts, DVDs, and more.
The first place winner from the 5 to 12 year old age group is Jacelyn Freitas, age 11, of CA. Her poem, “A Duck Named Phillip,” begins with the poignant line: “I am a duck that is stuck in a cage with no friends to play with.”
The first place winner from the 13 to 18 year old age group is Alyssa Graveline, age 17, of IL. In her poem, “Happier Free,” she implores: “Let me find treetops, & fly from them when I just have that urge to meet the sky again.”
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are impressed by the scope and creativity of these children and their understanding of the plight of birds. Our judges enjoyed reading the poems and had a tough time making their final decisions! We are thrilled that future conservationists—these young children—can help spread the word that birds belong in the wild, and help National Bird Day continue to be a success. We thank them and their parents for entering the contest.”
National Bird Day is when Born Free USA, in conjunction with Avian Welfare Coalition, focuses on issues critical to the protection and survival of captive and wild birds. The annual initiative features education and action to stop the international trade in wild birds, raise awareness about standards of care for birds who have been adopted as pets, and push for a deeper respect and understanding about the plight of all birds.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.