Air Force

February 21, 2014

BHM committee holds essay contest

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Senior Airman DAVID OWSIANKA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Ella May Valdez and Melanie Ralston, students at Thompson Ranch Elementary School, receive certificates for winning the Luke Air Force Base Black History Month Committee essay contest. The certificates were presented Wednesday by Capt. Rasheed Wedlow, 56th Medical Group Resource Management Flight commander, Master Sgt. Shawanda Randolph, 56th MDG RMF chief, and Master Sgt. Ida Bushey, 56th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacy Flight chief. Students participated in a 200-word essay contest on the civil rights movement and what it meant to them.

Where were you during the Civil Rights Movement? What memory do you have about it? How did it change you as a person?

The goal of the movement in the United States was to end racial segregation and discrimination against black Americans and enforce constitutional voting rights to them.

Members from the Luke Air Force Base Black History Month committee held an essay contest with Thompson Ranch Elementary School students. The fourth and fifth grade students were given the opportunity to write a 200-word essay on the civil rights movement and what it means to them.

“It’s important for us to continue to educate the different generations,” said Master Sgt. Shawanda Randolph, 56th Medical Group Resource Management Flight chief. “This contest requires the students to do homework and research that with help them learn about the civil rights movement.”

Members of the BHM committee will receive the top 10 essays from each grade and will pick a winner from each grade. The contest began Feb. 3 and concluded Wednesday with the winners announced at in the school assembly room.

The winners each received a $25 gift card, a trophy and will attend the BHM luncheon Feb. 28 at Club Five Six where they will recite their speeches.

“Holding this essay contest helps strengthen our relationship with the school while helping enlighten a younger generation on the civil rights movement,” Randolph said.
Thompson Ranch Elementary School is appreciative of Luke Airmen’s involvement with the students, the school’s principal said.

“The support and encouragement offered by those who give their time and effort to our staff and students is deeply appreciated and inspiring,” said principal Veronica Vasquez-Robles. “We recognize the sacrifice Airmen and their families have made to ensure our freedom, and to see each continue to give more to our community is beyond amazing.”




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