"Keep Moving Forward"
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist committed to peace, justice, and equality. As a visionary leader of the civil rights movement, King fought for racial and economic justice for the oppressed. His driving forces were nonviolence, love, the importance of family and self-respect.
This year’s theme is “Keep Moving Forward,” from Dr. King’s address, “Keep Moving the Mountain” given at Spelman College on April 10, 1960.
“Keep moving, for it may well be that the greatest song has not yet been sung, the greatest book has not yet been written, the highest mountain has not been climbed. This is your challenge! Reach out and grab it and make it a part of your life...we must keep moving. If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but by all means keep moving... whatever you do you have to Keep Moving Forward.”
Students can reflect on these words and how they relate to themselves or others in their families, schools, neighborhoods or world.
The writing contest is open to students in grades K-12 who live in the city of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa or West Bend or are enrolled in a school, either public or private, within the city of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa or West Bend.
There are seven grade level categories:
- K-1: group project only (no individual essays), reflecting children’s work and ideas
- Grades 2-3: individual entries, maximum length 250 words
- Grades 4-5: individual entries, maximum length 350 words
- Grade 6: individual entries, maximum length 400 words
- Grades 7-8: individual entries, maximum length 450 words
- Grades 9-10: individual entries, maximum length 500 words
- Grades 11-12: individual entries, maximum length 550 words
Entries must stay within word limitations for their grade level, otherwise the essay will be disqualified.
The entries will be judged on a point system, with the following criteria considered:
- Entries must address the theme.
- Entries should relate the student’s own personal ideas, work and experiences to the topic and show an understanding of Dr. King’s ideals.
- Entries must not be a biographical sketch of Dr. King.
- Entries will be judged on the basis of clearly expressed, creative ideas and ability level. In judging entries, emphasis will be placed on clarity, creativity, and originality. Correct usage of basic grammar and writing skills will also be considered.
Teachers are encouraged to help students understand the historical context of Dr. King’s words and actions, see the relevance of these words and actions in their world today, and become familiar with Dr. King’s life and values. We recommend utilizing the resources of MPS school libraries and the Milwaukee Public Libraries.
First, second, and third place writing contest winners will receive an engraved plaque and a prize valued up to $100.
Entry Delivery Information
All entries must be submitted to THIS LINK by 5pm on Monday, November 16th, 2020. Entries submitted after 5pm will not be considered for prizes.
Download WRITING CONTEST RULES as a PDF
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Contest is generously sponsored by MTEA
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Donelle Johnson, Contest Coordinator, at 414-445-5635, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the MTEA at 414-259-1990.
Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association
5130 West Vliet Street, Milwaukee, WI 53208
Phone: 414-259-1990 Fax: 414-259-7801