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Western New York Ending Child Abuse & Neglect and The Buffalo News teamed up to sponsor an essay contest during the month of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Kids were asked to submit a "Declaration of Children's Rights," expressing their hopes and dreams for children in today's world.

WE CAN will hold a March for Children beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Lafayette Square and concluding at noon at City Hall, where the winners will be announced.

Here are the winning essays:

WINNER AGE GROUP 10 TO 12

By KEARSTYN SCHULTZ

HAMBURG MIDDLE SCHOOL

Not all children in today's world have the rights they should have. It shouldn't matter what color skin they have, or their gender, or any other differences. All children should be treated the same.

All children should have a caring and friendly environment. They should also have what is needed for survival. Such as food, water and shelter. Without these necessities children can become very ill or even die.

They should also have education. Education is a big part of a child's life. It helps children to make friends, it teaches responsibility and it helps the future for a career.

Children should be loved and cared for. They should have someone provide them with their needs and give them the attention that all children need.

Medical care is another right that all children should have. When a child becomes ill they should have the medicine and care they need for healing.

Therefore, those are all the rights all children need to have. All children should have a caring environment, food, water, shelter, education and someone to provide these things, and last but not least medical care.

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WINNER AGE GROUP 13 TO 15

BY ABRAR ABDELFADEEL

SWEET HOME HIGH SCHOOL

Imagine being deprived of food, water and other necessary essentials. Imagine getting tormented, abused and neglected. Imagine living in fear, every single day, feeling worthless and alone. All children have the right to be loved and cared for. They should have the right to receive help if they need it. Children should be able to make their own choices. They should feel needed, loved and that someone will always be there to help and to guide them through their childhood.

I believe that if the children of today don't get all they need, they will grow up with both mental and physical wounds. They will pass through life with the wrong idea of things. Maybe when they grow older, they will think since it was done to them it's OK to do it to others. It will give them the idea that abuse and neglect are OK, and since they grew up that way, the way of abuse and neglect is OK.

It's the simple things that can make a difference. "I love you." "I'm here if you need me." "I care." Show the kids you care and love them. Things like that can change the lives of children.