By Bob McGaughey
Murray Ledger & Times
MURRAY, KY -- Cuyler McDaniel has been selected the Calloway County winner in the 2017-2018 "Grandparent of the Year" essay contest sponsored by AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. Runner-up was Gary Rogers of North Calloway Elementary School.
McDaniel, whose mother is Tammy McDaniel, was nominated by his fifth-grade teacher at the Southwest Elementary School, Kelly Steele.
Rogers and McDaniel were among thousands of fifth graders who participated in the 17th annual essay competition this year.
Students submitted answering why "My Grandparent Should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year" to their fifth-grade teacher who selected the school's winner. Each participating school winner and school received recognition certificates.
Then the Murray chapter of the Kentucky Retired Teachers representatives selected the student to represent the county in the district competition. The county winner receives a farmed certificate and is recognized at a spring meeting of the Murray chapter.
The district winners qualify to participate in the state finals. The Grandparent of the Year and the nominating student will be honored at the annual KRTA convention in Louisville in April. The State winner will receive $100.
The Essay competition is a unique way to recognize the significant contributions that older Kentuckians make toward shaping the lives and values of youth across the Commonwealth. In Kentucky, an increasing number of adults 50 and over are primary caregivers to minor children.
The 2010 census data showed the nearly 87,000 grandchildren in Kentucky live with grandparents who are householders.