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Makayla White wins student essay contest

Click to read Makayla's essay: Winning Grandparent of the Year essay

By Mark Fudge

Makayla White, a fifth grade student from Adair Elementary School (ACES), has been selected the Adair County and Mid-Cumberland Retired Teachers Association winner in the "2021-2022 Grandparent of the Year" essay contest sponsored by AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Retired Teacher Association (KRTA).

Makayla is among thousands of fifth graders who participated in the 20th annual essay competition for 2021-2022. Student submitted essays answering why "My Grandparent should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year to their fifth grade teachers who selected the schools winner. Each participating school winner and school receive recognition certificates and Makayla also received a $25 check.

Makayla's essay was then sent to the Mid-Cumberland Retired Teachers Association (MCRTA) where it was recognized as the outstanding essay in the (MCRTA). Makayla will receive a plaque and $50 in recognition of this honor.

Makayla's essay will also be eligible to participate in the state finals.


In a recognition ceremony the "Grandparent of the Year" and student are honored at the Annual KRTA Convention in Louisville next month. The state winner also receives a $100 award and a plaque.

The essay competition is a unique way to recognize the significant contributions that older Kentuckians make towards shaping the lives and values of youth across the Commonwealth. Across the country and in Kentucky, an increasing number of adults 50 and over are the primary caregivers to minor children. According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 98,000 children in Kentucky are being raised by or living with a grandparent householder.

The "AARP Grandparent of the Year" essay contest is organized by local retired teachers association's, who help secure local school participation, promote the activity, and serve as local contest judges.

Makayla is the daughter of Joey and Elizabeth White. Makayla wrote her essay about her Great Grandfather Jack Garrett. Jack was a star athlete at Corbin High School Who went on to play collegiately before earning his degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Jack played with a professional basketball and baseball team called the House of David. While playing basketball Jack traveled and played exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters all around the world. He later went on to teach and coach basketball at Pulaski County High School before moving to Adair County.


This story was posted on 2022-03-10 16:05:54
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Congratulations to Makayla White and Carter Lee



2022-03-10 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Mark Fudge.
Pictured are the grandparent essay winners from Adair County: Carter Lee, first runner-up, and first place winner Makayla White. Also pictured is Teacher Vicky Houk, and Teresa Roy representing the ACRT Association.

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Grandparent Essay winners



2022-03-10 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Mark Fudge.
First runner up Carter Lee, First place winner Makayla White, Principal Sommer Brown, and teacher Vickie Houk.

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