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A Taylor County Elementary student has been named the state winner in the annual "AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year" essay contest.
AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association recently presented the ninth annual award to 11-year-old Elizabeth Rogers for her winning essay about her grandmother, Diane Rogers, a retired educator from Campbellsville.
Rogers' essay was selected from thousands of entries across 247 schools in 88 Kentucky counties. She focused her essay on how grandparents help children to "grow roots," thrive and learn life's most important lessons. She wrote that her grandmother's strength and willingness to share her life experience inspired her and that her grandmother helped her to become a "stronger and happier person."
Penny Gaskins teaches Rogers' fifth-grade class and encouraged all her students to write about their grandparents.
The annual contest challenges fifth-graders to think and write about their relationships with their grandparents. AARP and KRTA's shared history and mission have made the contest a success for the past nine years.
Entries are judged on grammar, form, neatness, creativity, expression and characteristics of the grandparent. Local KRTA members and AARP KY volunteers serve as panelists, reviewing and selecting the final essay.
Rogers' family traveled to Louisville to receive the award and were joined by TCES Principal Brian Clifford. KRTA's annual convention hosts the award ceremony, which included a special plaque presentation for Diane Rogers. Elizabeth Rogers received a $100 savings bond.
AARP Kentucky President Jim Kimbrough, KRTA President Melanie Wood and AARP/KRTA Liaison Neal Tucker presented the award before an audience of hundreds of retired educators.
Rogers' essay and a video will be available online at AARP KY's website www.aarp.org/ky. The essay was also published in the March 3 issue of the News-Journal.