Madison Hackney received top honors in the 2016 Grandparent of the Year essay contest sponsored by Kentucky Retired Teachers Association ( KRTA) and AARP Kentucky. Madison and her grandmother, Joy Belcher, received their awards at the Annual “AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year” ceremonies in Louisville.
The Feds Creek Elementary student’s grandmother, Joy Belcher was the subject of her winning essay, “My Rock, My Security, My AARP Grandparent of the Year.” According to Madison, “She has cared and loved for me when it seemed no one else did.” Madison continues, “I have learned that the things she can buy are no match for the love she can give.”
Madison’s essay was selected from thousands of student entries across 278 schools in 102 Kentucky counties.
The annual contest highlights the nurturing relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. “The essay contest is just one important way to show how important grandparents are in the lives of children,” said AARP Kentucky’s KRTA volunteer liaison Cebert Gilbert of Stanton.
AARP and KRTA share a long collaborative history and continue to work together to grow the annual essay contest. Judging is based on grammar, form, neatness, creativity, expression and characteristics of the grandparent. Local volunteers from KRTA’s 118 units facilitate the contest with the winner selected by a panel of AARP and KRTA representatives.
Madison received a $100 award and special plaque and Joy Belcher received a commemorative award from AARP. Felicia Justice, Madison’s fifth grade teacher will receive a $150 for school supplies. AARP Kentucky State President, Jim Kimbrough, AARP Kentucky Senior Program Assistant, Rachel Fautz, KRTA President, Patsy Rainey, and AARP/KRTA Liaison, Cebert Gilbert, presented the awards before an audience of hundreds of retired educators.
Read Madison's essay here: Madison Hackney Essay - 1st place_2016