2019 Essay Prompts

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Clara Ester Background Info

Prompt for K-Grade 2

Clara Ester said that for everyone to be treated equal, “it has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference.” Show/tell how-you can help people be treated equally through “love, building relationships, and trying to make a difference”.

Essay Prompt for Grades 3-5

Read the  attached background  and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from the interview. (Our hope is that teachers, parents, and other adults will read and discuss the attached background and interview transcript with the children of this age group and discuss the meaning of the quote with them).

“But amazingly, we talk about that dream, his (Martin Luther King Jr.) dream is our dream.”

What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and how is it still our dream today?

Essay Prompt for Grades 6-8

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze  the following quote from her.

“So” I ask myself often: Where do we go from here? It has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference. And speaking out. We  have to start speaking out.”

Clara Ester gives us four ways to help build equality-love, building relationships, trying to make a difference, and speaking out. Which of these do you believe has the greatest impact to build equality for human kind.

Essay Prompt for Grades 9-12

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from her.

In another interview. Clara Ester said that every April 4 since the  assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been difficult for her to bear, in part because pictures from the  assassination scene are re-circulated in the news media. At times she believes it is even more difficult to deal with now.

“Primarily because we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago…”

Support or refute Clara Ester’s claim that “we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago. . . “. Have we circled back? If so, how? If not, what progress have we  made?

2016 MLK Student Essay Contest

Pictured here are the 2016 MLK Essay Winners, their teachers and/or principals and the keynote speaker. Front row, left to right, are Lainey Chandler (Grades 3 - 5 winner); Ashley Sadlon (K-2 winner); Nadia Lopez (Middle School winner). Jake Gibson, High School winner is standing behind the girls. Photo by Chuck Hale; published in the Citizen Tribune, January 19, 2016.

Pictured here are the 2016 MLK Essay Winners, their teachers and/or principals and the keynote speaker. Front row, left to right, are Lainey Chandler (Grades 3 – 5 winner); Ashley Sadlon (K-2 winner); Nadia Lopez (Middle School winner). Jake Gibson, High School winner is standing behind the girls. Photo by Chuck Hale; published in the Citizen Tribune, January 19, 2016.

For a history of this contest and the details of the 2016 contest, please click on the sub-menu titled Essay Contest Details.

Congratulations to the winners, to their teachers and to their parents.  While MTFD played a significant role in coordinating the contest, thanks really belong to Hugh Clement, Assistant Director of Hamblen County Schools and the 57 teachers who worked with 791 students who submitted essays.  And providing an equally essential and heavy effort was the local newspaper, the Citizen-Tribune, and its managing editor, John Gullion. The Citizen-Tribune sponsored the contest and provided extraordinary and extensive coverage of the event. And John not only met with MTFD, but read essays and presented the Citizen-Tribune awards to the winners at the breakfast.  Whew! Huge participation!