Jadon King, Mercer County Intermediate School student, was selected as Mercer County's Winner in the "2017-2018 Grandparent of the Year" essay contest sponsored by AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Retired Teachers' Association (KRTA). Jadon is among thousands of Kentucky fifth graders who participated in the 17th Annual Essay competition for 2017-2018. Students submitted essays answering why "My Grandparent should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year" to their 5th grade teachers, who selected the school's winner. Each participating school winner and school received recognition certificates.
As county winner, Jadon receives a framed certificate for his efforts, and the essay will be submitted for district competition. He and other district winners then become eligible to participate in the state finals. In a recognition ceremony the "Grandparent of the Year" and student are honored at the Annual KRTA Convention in Louisville. The state winner also receives a $100 award.
The essay competition is a unique way to recognize the significant contributions that older Kentuckians make toward shaping the lives and values of youth across the Commonwealth. Across the country and in Kentucky, an increasing number of adults 50 and over are the primary caregivers to minor children. The 2010 Census data showed nearly 87,000 grandchildren in Kentucky live with grandparents who are the householders. Almost 48,000 of these children live in homes where the grandparent householder is responsible for them.
The "AARP Grandparent of the Year" essay contest is organized by local Retired Teacher Association units (Mercer County Retired Teachers Association), who help secure local school participation, promote the activity and serve as local contest judges.