The Middlesboro Retired Teachers’ Association (MRTA), in conjunction with the Kentucky Retired Teachers’ Association (KRTA) and AARP, sponsored an essay contest at Middlesboro Intermediate School (MIS).
The contest was for fifth-graders in public schools throughout Kentucky. The theme for was entitled, “Why my Grandparent should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.”
The local winning essay will be sent to compete at the district level and possibly on to the state competition.
Storm Bayless, a student in Kim Saylor’s class, won both the school and county contests with his essay about his maternal grandmother. Storm was chosen as the winner by fifth grade teachers at the school. The school and Bayless will receive a certificate from AARP.
Since this was the only school competing in the county, Bayless was named the county winner. He will receive an additional certificate and embossed cover.
In order to be eligible for the contest, essays had to be the original work of the author. The essays had to be written about one and only one grandparent or surrogate grandparent, who is alive at the time the essay was written.
Essays had to be between 300 and 500 words in length, written in English, and include components of a formal essay such as an introduction, supporting points and conclusion. Each essay had to be submitted on standard size notebook paper and be legibly handwritten by the author on one side only. The name and school of the author had to be written at the end of the essay. The winning essay from each school had to be submitted with an official entry form.
The judging criteria consisted of qualifying characteristics of the nominee as a grandparent or surrogate grandparent (60 percent), creativity and expression (20 percent), and grammar, form and neatness (20 percent).
In order to be considered in the district competition, the school must submit Bayless’ essay to AARP by March 1. The district competition winner is chosen by the KRTA District President and an appointed AARP chapter member or state level volunteer. Each district winner will receive a plaque and a $50 award.
If Storm wins at the the district level, he will be entered into the state competition. The state winner is chosen by a panel of state-level KRTA and AARP officials.
If Storm wins the state competition, he will receive a plaque, a $100 award and an expense paid trip to the KRTA convention on April 23.
Reina Cunningham is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.