Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission Accepting Applications for Annual Essay Contest

September 21, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. Do you have a dream for yourself? Are you aware of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for America? Could you express your dreams in words? If so, the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission and YWCA Wheeling want to hear from you. The groups are accepting applications for their annual Project on Racism Essay Contest. Any student in grades one through 12 attending public, private or home schools in West Virginia is encouraged to participate in the essay contest.  

In their entries, students must incorporate a Martin Luther King quote. This year’s quote is “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” Students also must answer a question. For students in grades 1-5, the essay topic is “How is your schooling helping you be a better person?” For students in grades 6-12, the topic is “Using Dr. King’s teachings, describe how your education is molding your character.”

All essays must be handwritten, typed or computer generated in black ink on white paper, double spaced and only one page in length. Essays must not be any longer than 500 words and should not include photographs, images or illustrations. They also may not be sent in binders, portfolios or report covers and an official entry form must accompany each essay. Parents or teachers may type students’ work.

All entries will be judged on originality, grammar, relevancy to the theme and effective expression. They must be postmarked on or before Nov. 1, 2010. Entries should be mailed to: Project on Racism Essay Contest, YWCA of Wheeling, 1100 Chapline St., Wheeling, WV 26003. Entries also can be e-mailed to or faxed to 304-232-0513. Rules and entry forms can be downloaded from

Winners will receive a cash award and first place winners will be given the opportunity to read their essay at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon in January.

For more information about the essay contest, please contact Diana Bell, state coordinator of the MLK Essay Contest, YWCA of Wheeling, (304) 232-0511, or by e-mail at

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