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HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (11/03/17) — Hopkins County Community Improvement Foundation recently invited Hopkins County Schools to partner with the 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

Foundation secretary Whitney Bundren said the organization strives to work with youth in an effort to honor King's legacy that will include an essay and art contest in January.

Hopkins County MLK celebration founder Tim Thomas mentioned the local event is one of the longest-running ceremonies in the commonwealth.

"This will be a positive thing for young people and for the community,” Thomas said. “2018 will also mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. In honor of the county’s 35th year celebration, this year will highlight diversity of youth in our county, and the theme will be Celebrating the Dream through Education.”

Bundren mentioned the foundation partners with the MLK celebration each year.

“We thought an essay and art contest would be a great way to involve the students in our schools," she said.

Hopkins County Schools Communication Specialist Lori Harrison said, “We are really excited to partner with CIF and the MLK Celebration.”

Harrison noted the contest would be a great opportunity for the students to express themselves through writing and art that relates to current events.

Madisonville Community College, which partners with CIF in the selection of MLK scholarship recipients, will be involved.

MCC Vice President Jay Parrent, who also serves as a CIF board member, said the college is a part of the celebration and scholarship opportunities.

“Given the anniversary that's coming up for Dr. King's death, it's especially poignant this year to really spread King’s message of inclusion and equity, and that’s something we should never lose sight of," Parrent said.

The contest is open to grades K-12 including those attending private schools, Dawson Springs Independent and home-school students.

The theme of the competition is "Keeping the Dream Alive: How is the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relevant to your generation?" Students are asked to creatively express how the work of King is relevant to today’s youth that “reflects on Dr. King’s legacy of service to explore innovative approaches to positive social change.”

Visual arts entries should also be inspired by a King speech or moment, organizers said.

Entries are due to school principals or curriculum coordinators by Dec. 1, and should include the student’s name, address, school name, grade and teacher's name as well as parent or guardian and contact number.

The top three entries in each division will receive prizes. Contest divisions are K-1st grade, 2nd-3rd grades, 4th-5th grades, 6th-8th grades and grades 9-12.

First-place winners in each division will receive a personalized plaque, chamber checks and be recognized at the 2018 MLK Celebration, where they will have the opportunity to read their winning entry. Art winners’ work will be displayed.

Second- and third-place winners will receive certificates.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will take place beginning at 2 p.m. Jan. 13 at Byrnes Auditorium.

For more information, contact Lori Harrison at 270-825-6000 or Whitney Bundren at 270-821-5517, Extension 6.

For a complete list of contest rules and entry forms, visit hopkins.kyschools.us.

Tammy Holloway
SurfKY News Reporter

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