Michael Slone received top honors in the 2015 Grandparent of the Year essay contest sponsored by Kentucky Retired Teachers Association and AARP Kentucky. Michael and his grandmother, Dana Payne, received their awards at the Annual “AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year” ceremonies in Louisville in April.

The Crabbe Elementary School student’s grandmother, Dana Payne was the subject of his winning essay, “My Special Grandma,” according to a recent story on the AARP website. According to Michael, “My Grandma should win because she’s a life saver, caring and loyal.”

To read Michael’s essay about his wonderful grandmother, visit: http://bit.ly/1FsG2Up

Michael’s essay was selected from thousands of student entries across 277 schools in 99 Kentucky counties.  The annual contest highlights the nurturing relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. “The essay contest is just one important way to show how important grandparents are in the lives of children,” said AARP Kentucky’s KRTA volunteer liaison Cebert Gilbert of Stanton. “As they say, it takes a village,” said Payne. “I just did my part.”

AARP and KRTA share a long collaborative history and continue to work together to grow the annual essay contest. Judging is based on grammar, form, neatness, creativity, expression and characteristics of the grandparent. Local volunteers from KRTA’s 118 Units facilitate the contest with the winner selected by a panel of AARP and KRTA representatives.

Michael received a $100 award and special plaque and Dana Payne received a commemorative award from AARP.

Kristy Minton, Michael’s fifth grade teacher received $150 for school supplies. AARP Kentucky Senior Program Assistant Rachel Fautz presented the awards before an audience of hundreds of retired educators.