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2009 Essay Contest Launched, Increased Prizes for Students and Teachers Available

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio Launches 2009 Child of Appalachia® Essay Contest

Sharpen your pencils and put on your thinking caps! The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio has launched the 4th Annual Child of Appalachia® Essay Contest, open to all 4th through 9th grade students throughout Appalachian Ohio. Significant prize opportunities are available for the 2009 Contest – including over 380 awards for students and teachers. 
“One of the most effective ways to enhance our region’s quality of life is to encourage our region’s young people to believe in their ability to succeed,” said FAO President and CEO, Cara Dingus Brook. “Through the Child of Appalachia essay contest, the Foundation is prompting positive conversation in classrooms across the region with messages that instill the mindsets and confidence necessary for success.”
The essay contest is part of the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® program, a strategic initiative enabling our region’s citizens to succeed in educational opportunities.
The Foundation is expanding this year’s contest through the generous partnership of the American Electric Power Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and Edward Jones representatives from the 32 county region of Appalachian Ohio.

Support from the Walmart Foundation will enable each teacher of a winning contestant to receive a $500 grant to spend in his or her classroom on activities and items that enrich curriculum (a total of 192 grants). “The Walmart Foundation understands how critical education is to the well-being of individuals in our communities,” said Jason Wetzel, Walmart Senior Manager of Public Affairs. “We are delighted to be supporting teachers and the students they inspire.”

Student contest winners will be eligible to receive a $50.00 award to begin, or contribute to, their college savings – a gift made in part by the support of Edward Jones offices in the region.

As a result of AEP’s support, the Foundation will also host a poetry contest for regional 9th grade students in honor of Ora E. Anderson – renowned writer and naturalist. “American Electric Power is delighted to partner with the Foundation for Appalachian to build a positive future for Appalachian Ohio youth,” said Joe Hamrock, president and COO of AEP Ohio. “As Henry Ford said, ’whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ We at AEP are excited with the way the Child of Appalachia program helps children know they can succeed.

This year’s prompt asks students to write about how living in Appalachian Ohio inspires them. Detailed information on the 2009 Contest and Prompt can be found at Questions may be directed to Phyllis Moody, Foundation Services and Scholarship Program Coordinator, at 740.753.1111.