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The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of racial equality is a focal point for the contest; King was a clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement before he was killed in 1968.
All students can enter the contest.
Essays will be collected from students by their teachers, who will submit essays by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 for a Feb. 5 review by committee.
Winning essays will be displayed in the Central Services Board Room, 216 E. Fourth St., and winners will be honored by Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd at City Hall on Tuesday, March 5.
Parents or guardians and students are encouraged to ask their teachers about entering an essay in the contest.
The 2013 prompts are:
-- Kindergarten: Draw a picture of yourself and Martin Luther King Jr. Write what you would say to him.
-- First grade: Martin Luther King Jr. wanted everyone to be treated fairly. Explain what you could do to make your school a place where others are treated fairly.
-- Second grade: Martin Luther King Jr. wanted peace for everyone. Explain what you could do to make your school more peaceful.
-- Third grade: Martin Luther King Jr. was someone who inspired others. Explain what you could do to help inspire others to do what is right.
-- Fourth grade: Martin Luther King Jr. was a special person who did great things to make our world a better place.
If you could go back in time to meet Martin Luther King Jr. what would you say to him? Write a story telling about your meeting with Martin Luther King Jr.
-- Fifth grade: Martin Luther King Jr. helped make the world a better place by peaceful means.
What are ways that people now could do something to change the world so it would be a better place?
Choose a problem that you think would be important and write a persuasive letter, or essay to convince others that your idea is important.
-- Sixth grade: Martin Luther King Jr. was someone whose words inspired others and made a lasting impact on our country.
Choose one quote from Martin Luther King Jr. and explain how that quote is important to you and how it could make a positive difference in your life.
-- Seventh and eighth grades: Martin Luther King Jr. was a great persuasive speaker, from his choice of words to the message that he spoke about.
Choose a problem that you see in your school or community and write a persuasive letter, or essay about that problem and what you think people should do to solve it.
-- Ninth through 12th grades: Martin Luther King Jr. chose a problem from his time and worked to solve that problem.
Explain what you feel is the greatest problem that students now face, and what you think should be done to help solve that problem.
For more information, contact your student's teacher or Tina Smith-O'Hara, district community relations specialist at 360-565-3703 or firstname.lastname@example.org.