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City of Albuquerque Launches 39th Annual Intergenerational Essay Contest

Students grades 1-5 share stories about important seniors in their lives

The Department of Senior Affairs is sponsoring the 39th Annual “A Senior I Know” intergenerational essay contest for first through fifth grade students where students choose a significant senior in their lives and then write an essay about that person. The contest runs until Feb. 3, 2021 and the winning essays from each grade level will be recognized in May, which is Older Americans Month. Each student will also receive prizes.

“The pandemic increases the sense of isolation our older residents are feeling, so this contest is a heartwarming opportunity for younger generations to connect with the seniors who have had an impact on their lives,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

May is designated as Older Americans Month and the purpose of the essay contest is to promote positive relationships between elementary school students and seniors. Winning essays are chosen by the “A Senior I Know” committee that consists of retired educators.

“I launched this project in 1982 and have chosen to stay involved as each year I enthusiastically look forward to reading and judging the amazing stories written by the students,” said Ginger Grossetete, founder of the contest. “Numerous comments from teachers thanking us for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful community project document how successful the project has been.”

This contest is open to all students within the APS school district boundaries and essays must be submitted through the child’s school, including APS elementary schools, parochial, private, charter, or home schools. It is designed to support Language Arts standards in Strand III for grades 1-5 in Writing Strategies, Conventions and Applications. Essays must be submitted to one of the designated locations by 5 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2021 and cannot be submitted online.

 “The essays are always a thoughtful, moving testament to how critical it is for the younger members of our community to be connected to the wisdom and support of the older generations,” said Department of Senior Affairs Director Anna Sanchez.

The essay contest rules, drop off locations, key dates and judging criteria can be found at cabq.gov/seniors