Winners of the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. poster and essay contest were recognized at the Ninth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Brunch on Jan. 20.

Students from Montgomery, Floyd, Giles, and Pulaski Counties and Radford City Public Schools were eligible to participate in the contest that is sponsored by Virginia Tech and the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County NAACP.

Students who wrote a winning essay or created a winning poster were invited to attend the community breakfast where they received a certificate and a framed copy of their work. The purpose of the contest is to encourage students to reflect on King’s legacy. The theme for the contest this year was, “The Time is Always Right to Do What is Right,” and there were 297 posters and 127 essays entered in the contest.

The entries are collected from each school and are judged by a panel of volunteers. Evaluation criteria include originality, creativity, relevance to the theme, and personal perspective. Essays are rated on the author’s knowledge of King and his work in the civil rights movement, originality of ideas, development of point of view, insight into the essay theme, clarity of expression, organization, and grammar. The community brunch recognized a total of 34 winners from first through ninth grade.

First place winners receive a $50 gift card, second place winners receive a $35 gift card, and third place winners receive a $25 gift card. The poster and essay contest are part of Virginia Tech’s annual celebration of the legacy of King.

Some of the winning posters can be viewed through the online gallery.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Samantha Lambert.
Share this story