AARP/KRTA announce AARP Essay Contest winners

Published 11:48 am Monday, April 22, 2024

Deacon Barnes of Yellow Creek School Center has been named the Upper Cumberland District winner in the “AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year” essay contest. Barnes was previously named the local school winner and the county winner for Bell County.

He is among thousands of Kentucky fifth grade students who participated in the annual essay competition. From all of the local school winners in Kentucky, 73 county winners were selected and from those twelve district winners were selected.

Each local school winner received $10 and a certificate from AARP. County winners received $20 and an embossed certificate from AARP and each of the twelve district winners received $50 and an engraved plaque.

Email newsletter signup

Deacon Barnes was one of twelve district winners whose essay was submitted for the state competition. The state winner will receive a $100 award and an all expense trip to Louisville. That student and their grandparent will be honored a the annual KRTA Convention on April 23, 2024. The winning essay contestant will be posted by AARP Kentucky on its YouTube page at

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 98,000 children in Kentucky are living with or being raised by a grandparent household. For the past 23 years, AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association (KRTA) have sponsored this statewide competition to pay tribute to grandparents. The essay contest is coordinated by the local Retired Teachers Associations, Bell Co./Pineville Retired Teachers Association (BC/PRTA) and Middlesboro Retired Teachers Association (MRTA), who help secure local school participation, promote this activity, and serve as the local contest judges.