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January 6, 2006

Marsha Borenstein at (718) 773-3100



Brooklyn, New York - U.S. Representative Major Owens today announced the winners of the 2006 Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Commission Essay, Poetry and Art Contest from New York’s Eleventh Congressional District.

The winners will be honored with cash prizes at the 21st Annual MLK Celebration on Monday, January 16 at Prospect Heights High School at 1:00 p.m.  The acclaimed BAM-Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble of the Bedford Stuyvesant Youth Arts Academy and the International Hip-Hop Double-Dutch Champion Jazzy Jumpers will perform along with Brooklyn rap artist Papoose.  The event is free and open to the public.

“The participants in the contest understand the value of Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of peace and justice and see the direct relationship between their world of learning and the world of peacemaking,” said Lorrelle Henry, president of the Commission.

For the past 21 years the MLK Commission has served as the Education Advisory Committee for the Congressional Office.  In response to this year’s celebration, Congressman Major Owens said, “I would like to congratulate all of the participants, and especially our winners.  The essays and poetry submitted by the young people involved in the contest is excellent and the judges’ decisions on awards were difficult ones.”

Unfortunately the contest, designed to help students with developing their writing skills, received the lowest entries from elementary school students this year, since the first contest in 1985.  In response, Congressman Owens stated,  “With only 51.5 percent of students in grades three through eight reading at grade level, it is sad that a contest awarding cash prizes could not garner more participation. The New York school system is not getting better and we need an immediate boost from the funds that would flow into education if the court's CFE decision is obeyed.”

 The contest winners include:

Elementary School Essay: Javari Berwise, P.S. 272, Jasmine Philip, St. Catherine of Genoa, Deandra Spence, P.S. 135 and Lennon Williams, P.S. 272

Elementary School Poetry: Justice Allen, P.S. 181, Rochelle Jenkins, P.S. 268, Sarah Thomas, M.S. 394, Triston Thomas, P.S. 139 and Jordan Mentore, P.S. 181

Junior High/Middle School Essay: Onesha Bodden, M.S.340 and Mishanda Frith, M.S. 340.

Junior High/Middle School Poetry: Gary Augustin, M.S. 354, Sara Nedrick, M.S. 390 and Jose Wilmore, M.S. 390.

High School Essay: Vicky Baudin, Clara Barton H.S., Anna Scott Ellis, Home Schooled, and Kayasha Lyons, Clara Barton H.S.

High School Poetry: Arthur Cunningham, Clara Barton H.S., Schaude Dorizan, Clara Barton H.S., Christine Pigott, Midwood H.S., and Lois Pine, Clara Barton H.S.

High School Scholar Athletes: Harmanmeet Singh, Clara Barton H.S., Jacqueline Hayes, Wingate H.S., Oumar Dia, Paul Robeson, H.S. Durrell Harper, Middle College H.S., and Shanice Atwell, Boys And Girls H.S.



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