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Ashland's Crabbe Elementary Student Wins Statewide Essay Contest

Ajay Brown, a 5th Grader at Crabbe Elementary in Ashland, earned top honors in the 2021-22 Grandparent of the Year essay contest sponsored by Kentucky Retired Teachers Association (KRTA) and AARP Kentucky. Ajay and his grandmother, Mrs. Tammy Brown received their awards before 300 retired educators at the Annual “AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year” ceremony at KRTA’s Convention in Louisville. The annual contest was first launched in 2001.  

The Crabbe Elementary School (Ashland) student’s grandmother was the subject of his winning essay, “Why My Grandparent Should be the AARP Grandparent of the Year.” According to Ajay’s essay about his “Mamaw”, “I would not be who I am today without her. She deserves to win because…she is kind, loving and hard working.”  

Read or download Ajay's Award Winning Essay, HERE
Ajay’s essay was selected from thousands of student entries across 173 schools in 73 Kentucky counties. Crabbe Elementary’ s 5th grade teacher, Kristy Minton, encouraged Ajay and her students to write about what makes their grandparents special. AARP Kentucky is especially thankful to all the statewide KRTA local unit volunteers who helped in promoting and judging the thousands of 2021-2022 student essays.

The annual contest highlights the nurturing relationship shared between grandparents and their grandchildren. Jacqueline Thornburg, President of Boyd County Retired Teachers Association, volunteered to help judge the essays. According to Thornburg, “We’ve been volunteering for many years and had a lot of wonderful essays, we are just so proud of Ajay and the job he did this year.”

AARP and KRTA share a long history and continue to work together to grow the annual essay contest. Essays are judged on grammar, form, neatness, creativity, expression and characteristics of the grandparent. Local volunteers from KRTA’s 118 Units facilitate the contest and the winner is selected by a panel of AARP and KRTA representatives.

The essay contest is one important way to recognize and honor how much grandparents and teachers matter in the lives of grandchildren today.
Charlotte Whittaker, AARP Kentucky volunteer state president

Ajay received a $100 award and special plaque, and Mrs. Brown received a commemorative AARP award, and Ms. Minton received $150 for teaching supplies.

Left to right: Crabbe Elementary School Principal Uriah Tolbert and Teacher Kimberly Minton; Ajay Brown and Tammy “Mamaw” Brown; AARP Kentucky staff Aneshia Gray

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