Chattanooga, TN (April 24, 2015) – EPB congratulated eight Hamilton County students who won the company’s 11th Annual Black History Month Contest after submitting original poetry about inspirational African Americans.
This year’s annual Black History Month contest theme was inspired by the late Maya Angelou and her contributions to literature and humanity through poetry. Students were asked to pen an original verse about African Americans who have inspired them to contribute to the betterment of mankind. A record number of students, 372, submitted Black History Month Contest entries in four age categories which were reviewed by a panel of local judges.
“The kids just absolutely blew me away, not just in terms of how many entered the contest, but the stories they told about the people they look up to as role models,” said Kelvin Boyd, EPB’s community relations specialist. “Today’s children are our future leaders, and I am inspired by this next generation growing up in our community.”
Each of the eight winners were honored at a banquet Thursday evening and received a $100 prize, as did their language arts teachers:
1-3 Grades: Rachel Dunbar, Bess T. Shepherd Elementary; Teacher, Mrs. Hatcher
Evie Waldrop, Nolan Elementary; Teacher, Mrs. Leary
4-5 Grades: Joshua Adams, CSAS; Teacher, Mrs.Sport
Aboijang Avai, Brown Academy; Teacher, Ms. Haley
6-8 Grades: Abigail Scheel, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy; Teacher, Mr. Dillard
Caleb Moore, Homeschool; Teacher, Mrs. Moore
9-12 Grades: Simone Edwards, CHS Center for Creative Arts; Teacher, Ms. Mohyuddin
Yvonne Boyer, Girl’s Preparatory School;Teacher, Ms. Wells
The banquet was highlighted by keynote speaker Dr. Elenora Woods, who has made many significant contributions to our community and serves as the president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP. Dr. Woods gave a passionate reading of “I’ll Rise,” penned by Angelou, conveying the power of poetry and the human spirit to overcome adversity. “My word to the children today, no matter what you encounter, rise,” Dr. Woods quote Angelou.