SWEDESBORO — “What does freedom mean to me? What does the theme “Recognition, Restoration, and Celebration entail?”

These are the questions that 1st through 12th grade students are answering for the Juneteenth Art and Essay Contest sponsored by HELP, Inc.

Juneteenth is a state and national holiday celebrating the ending of slavery in America. “While we are celebrating with a joyous musical festival on June 17th, we also want to engage young people intellectually,” said Rev. Sherry Hall, HELP, Inc. Director of Community Programming. “All students are welcomed to participate, and prizes will be awarded.”

“We are very excited that our local school districts will be supporting their students in this educational endeavor,” said Dr. Michele Blair, Contest Chair. The elementary essay contestants must write a poem or essay about “Recognition, Restoration, and Celebration of Juneteenth”. Upper elementary students must also tie in their understanding of what Juneteenth is.

Middle and high school contestants should write a creative essay (minimum one page, MLA format) that demonstrates why Juneteenth is a federal holiday and shows their understanding of the similarities and differences between Independence Day and Juneteenth.  Middle and high school artists’ artwork, in any medium, must express what “Recognition, Restoration, and Celebration” means to them in the context of Juneteenth. 

Winners will be recognized at the Juneteenth Festival held at Kingsway High School, Lot F on Garwin Rd., Woolwich Township. Middle and high school winners will win certificates and ribbons, plus media and school recognition.

All Swedesboro/Woolwich, Logan, and Kingsway student entries must be submitted to their teacher or school office by June 8. Only original work will be considered,

To donate, visit www.helpinc.org and write “Juneteenth Contest” in the comment area and all donations are tax deductible.

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