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MLK poster, essay contest winners announced
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A group of Effingham County students have been recognized as this year’s winners of the annual MLK essay and poster contests.

The local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day Committee offers the poster contest for students in grades 1-5 and essay contest for grades 6-12, as part of Effingham County’s annual program honoring the slain civil rights leader.

The students who competed in the poster contest illustrated the theme for this year’s Effingham County MLK observance: “Hope for Change, Dream for Justice, Live for Equality.” The winning theme was submitted by Aaliyasha White, a seventh-grader at Effingham County Middle School.

The upper-level students developed a persuasive essay on why Dr. King was an influential leader and should be voted as one of the top 50 influential people in American history.

The poster winner for grades 1-2 was Emma Culberson, a second-grader at Blandford Elementary. Blandford fourth-grader Artem Stavenchuk took first place for grades 3-5.

The top middle school essay was submitted by Chanses Bowers, an eighth-grader at Effingham County Middle. The high school essay winner was South Effingham High freshman Denzel Walls.

Each student who submitted an entry will receive a participation ribbon. All contest winners will be recognized at the MLK youth program at the Effingham County Recreation Department gymnasium on Highway 119 on Jan. 20, starting at noon.

Poster winners, grades 1-2
First place – Emma Culberson, second grade, Blandford Elementary
Second place – Ella Jones, second grade, South Effingham Elementary
Third place – Grant Floyd, second grade, Blandford Elementary
Honorable mention – Mary Aquino, second grade, South Effingham Elementary

Poster winners, grades 3-5
First – Artem Stavenchuk, fourth grade, Blandford Elementary
Second – Shamon Orr, third grade, South Effingham Elementary
Third – Jacobi Griffin, fourth grade, Guyton Elementary
HM – Kate Britt, fourth grade, Blandford Elementary

Essay winners, middle school
First – Chanses Bowers, eighth grade, Effingham County Middle
Second – Caleb Wade McCullough, eighth grade, South Effingham Middle
Third – Micah Nix, seventh grade, Effingham County Middle
HM – Andrew Boyette, seventh grade, Effingham County Middle

Essay winners, high school
First – Denzel Walls, ninth grade, South Effingham High
Second – Denise Brickhouse, 10th grade, Effingham County High
Third – Alley Foreman, ninth grade, Effingham County High
HM – Alexis Anderson, ninth grade, Effingham County High