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Way to Go: Chiara Pantano

Chiara Pantano, a fifth-grader at Waverly Park Elementary

Chiara Pantano, a fifth-grader at Waverly Park Elementary School, took the top prize of $100 in the inaugural "Making a Difference" essay contest, sponsored by the Meadowbrook Women's Initiative, an organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning. Photo Credit: Handout

A Lynbrook student's efforts to start an anti-bullying club helped her win a local essay contest.

Chiara Pantano, a fifth-grader at Waverly Park Elementary School, took the top prize of $100 in the inaugural "Making a Difference" essay contest, sponsored by the Meadowbrook Women's Initiative, an organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning.

Chiara's 100-word essay described a "Bully Busters Club" that she and a friend co-founded to encourage kids to be "upstanders" instead of bystanders when it comes to bullying.

"It's really important to me to stop bullying, because it hurts people and makes people feel really bad," Chiara wrote. "The Bully Busters also helps people who bully others. We try to stop them from bullying others, so we can all be friends and live in a peaceful world."

Chiara's essay was among 300 entries submitted by students from 14 school districts throughout Nassau County.

She will be honored this summer at the Meadowbrook Women's Initiative's installation and charity presentation luncheon at Temple Chaverim in Plainview.

Julian Correa, a fifth-grader in Locust Valley, was the contest's second-place winner.

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