MLK contest to be held

By Deanna Cabinian

The 2004 Martin Luther King Art and Essay Contest is an opportunity for students and community members to express their ideas about the views and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and how they relate today, said Dr. Geraldine Crider, principal of DeKalb’s Cheseboro Elementary School and general chairperson of the Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Committee.

Students can either submit entries in written or visual-art form, Crider said.

The third annual contest started with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. She said the contest started small with churches in the community, but they wanted to have a broader base. The contest is open to first graders through adults, Crider said.

Fran Bomar, secretary at New Hope Church, which is assisting with the contest, said in the past the contest was mainly targeted at elementary and high school students, but this year it has expanded to include college students and adults.

This year’s theme is “Views from the Mountaintop,” she said.

There are three major categories of the contest, including first-through-sixth graders, seventh-through-12th graders and college students/adults. She said there will be a first and second place for both art and essay in each category.

Winners receive a savings bond, Crider said, and all who enter will get a certificate of participation.

Applications are available at DeKalb and Sycamore schools, as well as on NIU’s campus, Crider said. Applications should be available at the Center for Black Studies and on the New Hope Web site, Crider also said they are trying to get applications to as many churches as possible.

Panels of judges will choose the winners. There will be separate panels for art and essay entries, she said. She said panel members will include teachers, college students, professors and other members of the community.

The contest is aimed to offer a creative way for students to express their views about King’s ideas and legacy. She also said the research they do would expand their knowledge and understanding that he was a man of peace. The winners will be recognized on Jan. 19, 2004, at the King Celebration and Awards Ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Sycamore.