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Paducah-McCracken County NAACP Announces Winners Of Fredricka Hargrove MLK Essay/Poster Contest

May Bella
May Bella
The winner of the 2022 Fredricka Hargrove MLK Poster Contest for K through 3rd graders was May Bella, 1st grader at Lone Oak Elementary School.

Last December, the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP held its annual Fredricka Hargrove, Martin Luther King Essay/Poster Contest for grades K through 12.

From the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP:

"We are so happy to do this contest each year. All winners and their families are invited to the Annual Essay/Poster celebration, held on January 16th at Paducah Middle School at 2:00 pm (weather pending).

Principals, teachers, and school staff are invited as well. There is no admission fee, but we are asking all attendees to please wear masks."

The NAACP received over 250 submissions from schools across McCracken County. The first-place winners' contributions are below.

The theme for the K through 3rd grade poster contest was "What does Love and Helping People Look Like." Creative interpretation was encouraged.

The theme for the 2022 Essay contest was "Darkness Cannot Drive out Darkness." Essay topics centered on how to bring light and love into our community. The writers were given a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a prompt:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred. Only love can do that."

K-3rd Grade Winner:

May Bella, 1st grade (Lone Oak Elementary School)

4th-5th Grade Winner:

Samuel Warren, 5th grade (Heath Elementary School)

"How Can I Show Light and Love?"

"Martin Luther King, JR. was a man of perseverance and freedom movement. He was a beacon. He had a message of freedom, equality, justice, and love. He was not a United States President or a war hero, but a citizen activist for civil rights and peace. Like he did, I can show light and love everywhere I go."

Samuel Warren reads, "How Can I Show Light and Love?"

6th Grade Winner:

Calleigh Eidson (Heath Middle School)

"Light and love is something that the world today is lacking, especially since the pandemic hit, but I believe that we as a community can look back at Martin Luther King and apply his words to the present in hopes of creating a better future. Although there is very little light and love in the world currently, there is some."

Calleigh Edison reads her winning MLK essay.

7th Grade Winner:

Alex White (Paducah Middle School)

"Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness"

"I truly feel that if we feed the homeless, educate our youth, help others, and have open discussions with different races that our community will be on the way to changing for the better. Dr. King worked so hard to promote love and equality for all. We must continue his legacy and make sure that we are all living out his dream by helping the community that we live in!"

Alex White reads, "Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness"

8th Grade Winner:

Ava Russell (Paducah Middle School)

"I believe that sometimes, it can be scary to fight love with hate. When someone is exhibiting aggressive or oppressive behavior it can take a lot of courage to try not to simply retaliate...Love wins, no matter what the situation may be, and that is a statement that has always been true and will always remain true."

9th-12th Grade Winner:

Nathaniel Skinner, 11th grade (Paducah Tilghman High School)

"Love: The Light That Powers Paducah"

"Love isn't just a feeling. It is also an action. When we love, we can't help but be the light. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, only light can drive out darkness, and only love can drive out hatred. I see that happening in Paducah, and I am proud to say that the youth are a big part of that. I see the light overtaking the darkness, and I see love overpowering hate."

Nathaniel Skinner reads, "Love: The Light That Powers Paducah"

Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
Starting at WKMS in 2014, Dixie is the station's Corporate Support Manager, working with local businesses and community organizations. She's been an avid supporter of public radio since her teenage years. Other than public radio, her passions include live music, natural health and nutrition, hiking, traveling, and animals. She serves on the Paducah Main Street Board and is a member of the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP and the Heath Family Resource & Youth Services Center Advisory Council. Dixie and her husband, local musician and historian Nathan Lynn, reside in Paducah with their two kids.
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