Building character - Crossville Chronicle: Lifestyles

Building character

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:32 pm

The Crossville Noon Rotary recently held an essay contest for all Cumberland County fourth-grade students. Topics were characters or the Rotary Four Way Test. Top winners at each school were awarded a bicycle.

Brown Elementary

The Four Way Test

By Jonathan Bailey

First Place

At school the Rotary Club came. They told us about: is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendship, and will it be beneficial to all. This is called the four-way test.

Number one of the four-way test is, is it the truth. Truth means honesty and what is right. One time I was at the store and the cashier gave me too much change. I knew I should give it back, but I also wanted that money to buy a candy bar. I did the right thing and gave the money back. This is one example of truth.

Number two of the four-way test is, is it fair to all concerned. Fair means treating everyone equally. One time in first grade someone had a party and only invited his friends. This was not fair, those who weren’t invited got left out.

Number three of the four-way test is, will it build goodwill and better friendship. Goodwill is an act of kindness. One time I helped Cody because his bus was going to leave, and he didn’t have his stuff ready. I helped him pack up and catch his bus. This built better friendship, now Cody and I are better friends.

Number four of the four-way test is, will it be beneficial to all. Benefit means to have an advantage. An example of being beneficial is like a nice boss gives everyone a raise because they were doing great. But if he only gave it to a few people because that was his friends, that wouldn’t be beneficial to all.

The Rotary Club’s four-way test is: is it the truth, is fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendship, and will it be beneficial to all. They all four help us become better people.

If everyone lived by the four-way test our society would be a better place.


By Austin Mathus

Second Place

To define by dictionary is a conformity with fact or reality, a verified or indisputable fact. To each individual, the truth hold different meaning and varies in theory and values. To some it is the most important thing the world. To others, they have yet to learn the values of being truthful.

Truth to me reflects the person you are and the person you choose to be in life. If you choose to be a truthful person, then you earn not only the trust from those around you but their respect as well. If you choose to be someone who doesn’t tell the truth, no one will respect you or believe anything you say. Truth also opens the door to many other characteristics that are very important to have to obtain through life. Truth may be a small word but I believe that the truth is a very important quality for everyone to have not only for others but for themselves.

You have to obtain truth within yourself before you can share it with those around you. If you

tell the truth you will have lots of friends. No one wants to be around someone that is not truthful.

Always tell the truth.


By Cassidy Brown

Third Place

Truth is a vital trait to have as a person. It determines your character. If you don’t tell the truth no one will believe what you say, you won’t have any friends and you will get into more trouble.

Not telling the truth will cause people to never believe what you say. If you’ve ever read the story “The boy who cried wolf” you will understand what I mean. It is very important to always tell the truth. People want friends that are truthful. When you don’t tell the truth, your friends will not want to be around you. To be a true friend, you should always tell the truth.

When you get in trouble, don’t lie to try to get out of it. One lie does not make another lie go away. If you do something wrong, always tell the truth about it. Telling the truth tells a lot about your character and your personality. When you are truthful your friends and family will consider you trustworthy. The truth will set you free.



By Brytan Pendergrass

Third Place

The truth is honest and reliable. Honesty helps make friends, and helps keep them too. Being reliable helps get everyone get things done. Everyone depends on truth on an everyday basis.

Being reliable is helpful, because if I didn’t take out the compost we would have fruit flies. Being honest is helpful, because if I said I would bring back a toy and I did, I would probably get to borrow another toy. He and I would be good friends. Being truthful is helpful, because everyone is on the same page.

I think being truthful, honest, and reliable is important, because it can help a group of people to understand and respect each other. It is awesome to keep friends. Truthfulness is part of a happy friendship.

Crab Orchard Elementary

Truth is Very Important

By Jacey Tollett

First Place

If you don’t tell the truth, you could hurt someone’s feelings. Some people I know who tell the truth are my mom, granny, God and my friends. You shouldn’t lie. God loves it when you tell the truth and so do others. When you tell the truth others feel happy because they will know that they can trust you and you will never ever lie to them. Once one of my friend’s mom was crying. I was really worried but when she told me the truth of what happened I was relieved. Because what happened wasn’t even serious. You need to always tell the truth because when you do you gain more of their trust. When you tell the truth you can make more friends because they will see what such a great character you are. May people don’t tell the truth but some people do. Everyone likes someone who tells the truth. It makes them feel like you will never lie to them. The way you can tell if someone will be a good friend or not is if they tell you the truth right off the bat. Because a truthful person is an honest person and an honest person is a good person and a good person makes a good friend. God likes it when you tell the truth so never, ever tell a lie. And that is why truth is very, very important.


By Carlene LaBarge

Second Place

Mrs. Creshia is always nice. She is always fair, truthful and sharing because she is a really nice person. She will always be a really nice person. She will always be truthful by always being the person that tells the truth. When people are down she helps them get up again to make them feel better when they feel bad. So when I feel down she cheers me up to a warm heart. She gives me a warm heart when she talks.

She has to be truthful to teach. She is an awesome teacher because she is nice. I will always love Mrs. Creshia. Sharing is to let other people play with your things. Mrs. Creshia is a good person, she lets us play with her basketball at recess. She will always be a nice teacher because it will never rub off of her nice. I will miss her when I leave her class next year. I will come and visit her when I am in fifth grade and I will not act mean. I will always be fair, not mean. I will always be kind and sweet.


By Jessica Brock

Third Place

Have you ever met someone full of honesty? I have, it is my dad and his name is Joe Fredrick Brock. He is always kind and has always been helpful.

Honesty is always a good thing. My dad is always kind, truthful and helpful. To be kind to one another makes you feel good. For an example, my dad was outside with me playing

football and my dad played everything I wanted, and then I asked him what he wanted to play and he said he wanted to play football again and I said ok.

Truthful is also related to the word kind. I was playing with my bow and I hurt my arm and my dad doctored it so it wouldn’t hurt and also he was kind.


By Kiersten Sanders

Third Place

Have you heard of the boy who cried wolf? He was not truthful nor kind so he was not trustworthy. When a real wolf came no one believed him so the sheep were eaten.

Being truthful is important in honesty. If you do something wrong and lie you will be in worse trouble. Tell the truth it is better.

Kindness is important too. You need to be kind. This will also help to get friends. When you lie people can’t trust you. The boy who cried wolf was not trustworthy. Being trustworthy is important in honesty.

So you now know the basics on honesty which is part of character. Which everyone has.

Homestead Elementary

Fainess is Better Than Cheating

By Haley Herbert

First Place

Last year I tried playing four square. It was hard. I kept trying and trying. I finally got someone out. I moved up to the second box. I stayed there for a while until I got one particular boy out. They made up excuses so he could stay in and get me out. They kept doing it and doing it and doing it until we all got tired.

We were on the fourth grade court so we decided to play by their rules for a while when they came outside. They didn’t let us play at first, but that didn’t last long. They had their teacher’s ball so we asked her and she made them let us play. Things were fine then.

When fourth grade had to go back in, two kids started cheating and making excuses. So I decided to make a list of people who hated it when some kids cheated. Tons of people signed it. I showed it to the two boys who cheated and explained how it wasn’t fair when they stayed in the game after being called out. They felt bad and started playing by the rules. They realized that if we all play fair it’s more fun for everyone.

The Truth Counts

By Cade McClellan

Second Place

The truth really does count. I leaned this one day when I was supposed to feed our dogs. I had played basketball the day before, and I was sore as a dog myself. I was on the couch watching tv when it hit me that I hadn’t fed the dogs out in the barn yet. But then I thought, my mom never goes out to the barn anyway so she won’t know.

So I didn’t feed them that evening. They were pretty mad at me and kept barking their heads off. That night I was really sweating it. I knew I should have fed them no matter how sore I was. The next morning, I told my mom that I had not fed the dogs and that I was sorry.

She forgave me, made me go feed the dogs, and told me I’d learned a valuable lesson. I actually learned two lessons: I need to be responsible and I need to be truthful. Those are two of the best lessons you can ever learn.

Truthfulness is Important

By Rebecca Webb

Third Place

Truthfulness is important because there are consequences if we lie. This is what happened to me and my cousin. We were playing in the field and my cousin ran to the barn and got his fourwheeler.

He was going too fast and he hit the fence. The fence was a little broken and the fourwheeler had a dent in it. He drove it to the barn, and his dad and our Papa asked him if that dent was already there. He said, “yes.” I tried to tell him to tell the truth, but my cousin pulled me away and told me not to tell them because it would get him in big trouble. I told him he

would get in less trouble if he would tell them the truth. He would not tell them then. I told him he would have to tell them sooner or later.

The next week when I was back over there, I asked my cousin if he’d told them the truth yet. My Papa and his dad overheard me ask him that, and they said, “Did you tell them what?” My cousin confessed and told them the dent had not been in there before he drove it. His Dad said it was okay, but that he was grounded for a week. My cousin was relieved to have to truth told.

When you don’t tell the truth it can sure make you feel bad, but when you tell the truth it feels much better even if there are consequences.

Martin Elementary


By Ella Heim

First Place

According to the MacMillan Dictionary, friendship is the state or fact of being friends or a mutual liking or attachment between friends.

To be a true friends is really important. You have to be nice to everyone. You have to include not exclude. It may get tough and your friends may try to force you to choose between friends, but don’t. If they have a problem with your friends ask why, try to figure it out, help your friends. Being friends is one of the most powerful things in the world! You and your friends

can go a long way. I’ve been in many positions where I had to choose between fame and friends. Trust me, friends are worth a lot more than fame. Fame can die out but friendships can go on forever.

Friendship is very important in our daily lives. Let’s say there is a new girl in our class. She has golden hair, she is tan, but she is a little overweight. Don’t join the crowd and make fun, be her friend and stand up for what’s right. Don’t laugh or tease. Be a friend. She’s new and she probably needs that.

One time, when I went to summer camp last year, my birthfriend came (we were born only 12 hours apart). My friends from the last year got upset because I was spending all my time with Lauren, my birthfriend. It was kind of hard spending time with all my friends. Did I mention that one of my friends from school was there? Anyway being friends is worth life time! It may be hard and your friends might not want your help but try your best.


By Alivia Bradley

Second Place

The dictionary says “Friendship is a relationship between two people who hold good affection for each other.” Friendship is like love. Your friend should always be there for you. Like family, some friends could be like family. I have a friend that’s like family, she’s loyal, friendly and a nice girl. Some friends could be quiet or loud and weird, or funny. Your friends could be anything. Friends should be there for you when bad things happen. If your friend isn’t there for you when stuff like that happens then it’s not true friendship. Friendship is love, forgiveness, happiness and just a bit of everything. It can be sweet but sour. Friends are a good thing to have in your life. Like when sad or bad, and even good things happen, friends are there for you. Don’t be friends with someone who’s mean. Be someone’s friend if they’re nice. If not,

just don’t be friends with someone who is mean or calls you names. I don’t think anyone wants to be friends with someone who’s mean. The best time I have ever spent with friends is at a

sleepover or free time at school. So always remember what friendship is because it’s a good thing.

What is Friendship?

By Mattie Daugherty

Third Place

A friendship is like being loved. And friendship is very important. Because if someone is bullying your friend. Don’t just stand there, go over and help. And another way it’s important is because friendship can change the world. If everybody has a friend everything will be good.

And if you’ll feel lonely just ask anybody and I bet you will have a friend so just be nice, caring and helpful. And you will be loved. And there are people waiting for friends. Go anywhere and you will find a friend. Plus, if there is a new student in your class be nice to them. Don’t be mean to the new student, and another thing is to try to ask the new student to eat lunch with you. I promise it will be good. If you do that you could change the world. Soon you will have a friend. One thing is to never ever lie to your bestfriend or your friends. So don’t lie to your friends. It will be bad. And never, ever take your friends stuff. Unless your friend gives it to you. That will be bad to. So don’t take your friend’s stuff or lie to your friend. And if your friends get in a fight, try to break it up. And another things is if your friend makes something for you or gives something to you, you always say thank you, that’s the right thing to do. And I want to make a friendship club at my school and anybody could join. And if you go to your friends house, remember to use your manners. Another thing is don’t blame your friends for something you did. That will be wrong. And if you want to do something right, go to church every week because it will make you learn more everyday.

North Cumberland Elementary


By Addyson Palmer

First Place

Fair. There are many ways of being fair. One is when you play a game , try to be friendly and be a good team player and most importantly be FAIR! Being fair is most important because it keeps everyone happy and people will want to be around you. It also promotes honesty and friendship. Everyone wants to be treated the same and not feel that someone gets more than them. You will always have the chance in life to do right or wrong, if you learn to be fair when you are younger you will be a better person when you become an adult. You will make the right decisions for yourself and the people who trust you. By being fair and honest you will make a name for yourself that you can be proud of. I hope that people always see me as a good and fair person. I feel that if I achieve this then I have truly accomplished something worth having. And that’s what fair means.


By Ava Orme

Second Place

Friendship is a liking between friends. Friends support each other. One major part about friendship is trust. Friends don’t judge friends. Friends are always happy to see you do good things. They are always willing to help you reach your goals.

Friends support you through the good times and bad times. Friends can keep your secrets safe. Having trust in someone means that you can depend on them to help you when you need it. Without trust, friendship means nothing.

Friends don’t judge you no matter how bad it is. They give you hope and will help you turn a bad situation around. We have to have a precious few friends to make our lives happy.

I believe friends are God’s gift to us. They are like angels that are always by our side. True friends make us happy.


By Stormi Conner

Third Place

What is fairness? Fairness is treating people equally, not showing favoritism, free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice, marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising.

Fairness is like sometimes you get your way and sometimes you don’t. Fairness is like you have to do certain things in life that you don’t want to do but in the end, life isn’t fair itself. Maybe because people don’t base their lives on the truth or stand up for the truth, fairness is sacrificed. We need to stress honesty in our youth so they can grow up where fairness meets its definition.

If our education is set around truth, honesty and fairness maybe I can grow up to a future where we can say life really is fair. If we can learn from a young age to do what is right for our selves and others, life will become fair for everyone because we all learned the same values.

Pine View Elementary

Helping Others

By Riley Ann Taylor

First Place

Have you ever helped someone in need? Well, I have and I think it’s important because if you help someone in need you can build friendships. It’s important to the person you are helping. It’s also important to you.

Helping others may build friendships because they may want to help others too. Then they can be nice, and make more friends. It’s also important to building friendships with the people you help.

It’s important to the people you help because they may have no family to help them. It’s also important to them because they may live alone, and no one wants to come and help them. It’s also important to them because you may be the only person they will let help them.

It’s important to you because it’s a nice thing to do. You get a good reputation. If you want to be a nurse, it’s good practice.

Helping others is very important to the person you are helping. It’s important to build friendships.

Helping Others

By Lillie Mullins

Second Place

Have you ever helped someone in need? Helping others may help build friendships. Helping others may help you be kinder. Helping other is important to others in need.

Helping others may help build friendships. If you help others, you can make friends. If you make friends, it might be a girl or boy.

Helping others may help you be kinder. If you’re kinder you may have more friends. If you’re kinder people may be kinder to you.

Helping others is important to others in need. If someone has crutches and they fell, help them up. If someone is in a wheelchair and they drop something pick it up for them.

Now do you see how helping others helps you? Such as building friendships, being kinder and how it is important to others. It is important to help others.


By Briana Loden

Third Place

Why is truthfulness important? It is important because you’ll have a better relationship with your parents. You’ll have better friendship. When you are truthful you won’t get in trouble all the time.

Being truthful with your parents. Are you always truthful to your parents? If you’re not, you should be because when you say something to your parents they may not believe you. So, you should always be truthful to everyone you know.

Good friendship. When you lie your friends won’t want to be your friends any more. So you shouldn’t lie to your friends or your parents, or your teachers.

If you lie, you will get in trouble and your parents will not believe you. So it’s important that you should always tell the truth.

Truthfulness is important. You should always tell the truth to have a good life and good friendships, and not get in trouble all the time. So always remember to tell the truth!

Pleasant Hill Elementary

The Four-Way Test

By Abby Marion

First Place

Can you pass the four-way test? I can. I try to tell the truth. My mom and my teacher say that’s good. I think everybody should tell the truth.

I try to be fair. Like in basketball—you should always share the ball with other teammates. That is good to do.

Being fair will give me goodwill and better friendships. I think having friends is a good thing to have. I try to think of all my friends. That makes it beneficial. I try to help my friends. That makes our friendship better. Now I just passed the four-way test.


By Joy Ashburn

Second Place

You should always tell the truth, otherwise you could get in a lot of trouble. I always try to make better goodwill and make better friendships. You should always be fair. Is it beneficial to all be concerned? And you should have a kind heart and a true soul and never forget the end.

The Truth

By Bradley Essex

Third Place

It is always better to tell the truth if you have done something bad. It’s not fair that you want to play but whoever won’t let you play with them. It’s not fair. Always help your elderly, it shows goodwill. Always be friendly, it will always make better friendships. It’s always good to be beneficial at home, school and friend’s houses.

South Elementary


By Karli Edwards

First Place

Having good character means that you should be loyal, responsible, and honest to others. I think people who have good character have a very good life ahead of them.

I believe that character is a very big responsibility. To me I think the most important thing is being a team player, making someone believe that they can ask you for help. Being a team player is very important in life. You can’t be a good person if you aren’t loyal, responsible and caring for another person. If you aren’t caring no one will ever like to be with you because you are not caring about anything.

Honesty you need the most. If you don’t be honest then you are going to lie and cheat. This is a rule I believe in, treat others the way you want to be treated.


By Sabastin Higham

Second Place

Having good character means. There is a homeless person on my street. So me and my friend gave him some food and water. Then the next day me and my parents gave him a ride to the store. We let him stay with us for a while. All of us watched a movie. The movie was Iron Man 2! It was so cool and fun. Then we made dinner. It was bacon sandwiches. They were so good and then my dad and him taught me how to use a chainsaw. I got to go into a tree and cut branches. It was so cool and fun. And then he taught me to whittle and sharpen a knife and make a staff. He took us to school and to the fair. He was so nice and cool and fun and playful and just so much fun, I had a blast!!!

Good Character

By Austin Reed

Second Place

Having good character shows a lot about you. If you have good character, it means that you help people in need or do charity work. But if you want to do something else you could be nice to other people or you could help make friends with other people. And be honest with people and family. Be caring with all people and all family. Be responsible for yourself.

Good Character

By Cameron Dixon

Third Place

To me, having good character means having responsibility. Like if you forgot your homework, your mom and dad is not supposed to get it for you because you have to be responsible to get it.

Being a good character also means being trustworthy. Like if your friend asks you to hold their money, if you spend it when it’s his money, he will probably never trust you again. Also including fairness for being a good character. If you split a candy bar with your friend.

Stone Elementary

Helping Others

By Gage Smith

First Place

My mother is always telling me to be respectful and use my manners. One day, we were getting groceries

and this elderly man was in front of us. We noticed he was having troubles. He wasn’t walking well and he

was dropping his groceries. As he left, I noticed his cane, he had left it in the buggy! I took it to him and he just smiled and said, “Thank you.” After mom and I had gotten our groceries loaded in our truck, I saw the man, he was still pushing his buggy across the parking lot. We helped him to his car. Then we loaded the groceries into his trunk for him. He was surprised that we had helped him, a stranger and did not want anything from him. When he smiled, his face lit up. Then I knew it was good to be helpful. It was a great feeling.

Helping Others

By Chloe Smith

Second Place

When other people need help, you need to remember people’s feelings. Even if they don’t ask for help, sometimes they still need help. If you help people, you are helping the community. You always need to offer to help people. If you needed help, wouldn’t you want somebody to offer? You always need to treat others as you want to be treated. If you help others, they will help you. By helping others you are showing kindness. If everyone would help each other the world would be a better place.


By Mattie Buck

Third Place

Friendship is a very important thing in life. This is what I think about friendship. When you treat friends nice, they will treat you nice back. A friend is someone that comforts you. When you have a friend, you want them to be honest and you want to depend on them. If you do not tell the truth to your friends, they will not want to be your friend. If you tell the truth then they will want to hang out with you. I want my friends to be caring, happy and truthful. Just like the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”