Athens public school student contest winners showcased at 18th annual MLK Jr. event


The University of Georgia invites the community to join in celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom breakfast. The virtual event will be held Friday, January 15, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. The event is free and open to the public and can be accessed on the UGA Facebook page at www.facebook/universityofga.

As part of the program, Dr. Xernona Thomas, superintendent of the Clarke County School District, will showcase the winners from the district's annual art and literature contest that celebrates the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year, students were asked to answer this question: "How can I help achieve Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality and freedom for all?"

"We are proud of the reflection, creativity, and time our students committed to creating thought provoking and insightful entries. We are excited to share them with our community," states Dan Smith, the Fine Arts, Health, & Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator.

"We all have the power to help change our world, one courageous act at a time," states Dr. Xernona Thomas, superintendent of the Clarke County School District. One of Dr. King's many famous quotes says, 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' These amazing students have broken the silence. They have used their brilliance, creativity, arts, and language skills to end the silence about freedom and equality."

Student Winners:

Elijah Long, 1st Grade Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary; Mia Hernandez Zambrano, 1st Grade Fowler Drive Elementary; Olivia Hart, 2nd Grade Timothy Road Elementary; Ryan Watkins, 3rd Grade Barnett Shoals Elementary; Noa Brown, 4th Grade Timothy Road Elementary; Jonas Stephens, 4th Grade (overall district winner) Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary; Laila Nobles, 4th Grade (honorable mention) Barnett Shoals Elementary; Gabrielle Sturdivant, 6th Grade Coile Middle School; Hania Ijaz, 6th Grade Clarke Middle School; Natalie Schliekelman, 11th Grade Clarke Central High School; Isaac Rodriguez Salazar, 12th Grade Clarke Central High School.

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