AARP/KRTA essay contest honors grandparents
by Hawkins Teague
Mar 21, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the fifth year, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Trigg County chapter of the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association (KRTA) honored a fifth grade student for its “Grandparent of the Year” essay contest.

Joann Harvey is a retired teacher who helped organize the March 12 awards ceremony at Countryside Family Restaurant. She said that one reason the essay contest began was to honor the many grandparents across the state that play such a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives. According to the 2000 census, almost 36,000 grandparents serve as the primary caregivers of almost 58,000 children across Kentucky. She said that retired teachers were in a special place to see how important these contributions are because so many of them volunteer hours to work with kids at the schools.

George Radford, the president of the Trigg County chapter of the KRTA, said the essay contest is a good opportunity for children to use the skills they learn in class and get involved in a competitive activity.

“Many times, kids don’t realize how important their grandparents are,” Radford said. “The grandparents are usually elated and find it rewarding when they hear what (their grandchildren) say about them.”

This year’s Trigg County winner was Quashawn Quarles, who wrote an essay about his grandmother, Emma Cavanaugh. In a businesslike way, Quarles wrote about how nice Cavanaugh is, point by point.

“Dear Reader,” Quarles writes, “I would like to inform you about how nice my granny is, but before I do, I would like to tell you about my granny’s history.”

After giving a brief history of her life, he makes his case.

“First, my granny is very caring for all of her grandchildren. One way to show that my granny is caring is that she will make sure that you wear the right jacket or coat that fits the temperature outside. My granny will make sure that I finish all of my homework before I can go outside if it isn’t too cold. But no matter what, homework will always be first. My granny will also make sure that I catch the school bus so I can learn even more than I know now.

“Also, my granny is loving Sometimes she will do stuff to keep me in the house for a while. Another way to prove that my granny is loving is that if I get hurt, she will walk me all the way to the hospital, and she is handicapped. If I get hurt,she will come and get me herself. I know she is the best granny in the whole world because she cares for me in each and every way.

“Last bout not least, my granny is a great cook. You would think she is a great cook too when you taste her crunchy catfish. Another food she is great at is her delicious fried chicken. One of my granny’s best specialties and dessert is yellow cake with caramel icing.

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