Second annual Mingo County Red Ribbon Week Essay Contest


Staff Report

Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa D. Maynard today announced the commencement of the Second Annual Mingo County Red Ribbon Week Essay Contest.

All students enrolled in a school located in Mingo County, West Virginia, will be eligible to participate as well as any children being homeschooled who reside in Mingo County. The middle school division will be open to all students currently enrolled in grades 5-8 while the high school division will include grades 9-12. This year’s theme is “Be strong, be true, be you…drug free!”

All entries must contain a minimum of 500 words. The contest ends at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 2, 2015. Entry forms have been forwarded to all local schools for distribution but are also available from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office upon request.

The essays will be judged based upon originality, content, clarity, and organization. The writers of the five (5) top essays in each division will be invited to an awards presentation at the Mingo County Courthouse in early spring. Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each division. The first place winners will receive a Kindle Fire.

Maynard made the following statement regarding the contest:

“Last year was our inaugural year, and we had over seventy (70) student writers participate. I was impressed with the depth of understanding demonstrated by these children. So many of their young lives have been touched by drug abuse, but yet they all appeared so resilient, so hopeful. It was definitely a worthwhile experience for me to take a look at the drug problem through the eyes of these talented students. After reading all the essays and meeting the kids who wrote the winning essays, I felt rejuvenated and definitely ready to step up our fight against drugs.”

Last year, Makayla Runyon, a sixth grade student at Burch Middle School, and Travis Spradlin, a senior at Tug Valley High School, topped the podium. Both received a Kindle Fire for their efforts. In the high school division, Danielle Gibson, also a senior at Tug Valley High School, and Faith Hensley, a junior at Mingo Central High School, placed second and third, respectively, while Katelyn Cantrell, a junior at Ambassador Christian Academy, and Sydney Curry, a freshman at Ambassador Christian Academy, received Honorable Mention. In the middle school division, Chelsea Sammons, an eighth grade student at Gilbert Middle School, and Haley Sparks, a fifth grade student at Lenore PK-8, took second and third, respectively, with Carlee Waine, a sixth grade student at Jammie Darrin Christian Academy, and Hollie Nagy, an eighth grade student at Jammie Darrin Christian Academy, receiving Honorable Mention.

The Red Ribbon Campaign began in 1985 following the death of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. The Red Ribbon is now a nationwide symbol of intolerance towards drug abuse. One week each year, students across the nation join together in celebration of Red Ribbon Week. This year Red Ribbon Week will be celebrated in most schools from October 26th – October 30th.

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