Franklin County students enrolled in elementary or secondary schools are invited to enter the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Ottawa Black Awareness Committee and the deadline to submit an essay is Dec. 19.

The winning essays will be read at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program at the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 2 p.m. There are categories for grades 1-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

The theme of this year’s contest is, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” The question for the essay contest is, “What matters most to you that is going on in our country today in keeping with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s teaching? How would you address it?”

Essays should be 450 words or less, must be typed and double spaced. Essays will be judged on content that best depicts this year’s theme, connection to Dr. King’s work, spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Students with disabilities may submit using other media such as posters, pictures, etc.

All entries should contain the name of the student, student’s grade, school name, teacher’s name and contact number. Entries can be sent to Richard Jackson, P. O. Box 40, Ottawa, Kansas 66067 or brought by the ECKAN central office at 1320 S. Ash, Ottawa, Kansas.

Winners will receive: 1st place-$100, 2nd place-$75, and 3rd place-$50 and all participants will receive ribbons.