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Scarborough sponsors essay contest on fathers

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Children in southeast Queens who think their dads are so good that they deserve an award will have a chance to prove it.

State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) announced last week a contest for students between kindergarten to 12th-grade that answers the question, “What makes your father one in a million?”

“Creatively, it helps them because the more the children learn to write, the better off they are. I would hope that the children have some discussions with their families and fathers in putting this together,” the assemblyman said.

In the essay, the children are asked to reveal how their fathers have influenced their lives, whether it was helping them with school work or helping them pursue a goal, according to the assemblyman. The winner of the contest will receive a citation from Scarborough and his or her father will be honored by the elected official with a special Assembly proclamation.

Applicants in kindergarten to second-grade are asked to create a picture with a one- or two-sentence caption. Those who are in grades three to five must write a 150-word essay and those between grades six and eight are required to write 250 words, while high school students are asked to submit 500-word pieces, the Assemblyman said.

The contest is part of Scarborough’s work with the Million Father Initiative, a grassroots organization that encourages minority fathers to take more responsibility of their sons and daughters. The group sponsors other events throughout the year, including a Walk Your Child to School event that promoted parents who personally dropped their child off at school on the first day of classes.

Scarborough also held a holiday party and toy drive for fathers this year and he said he wants to create more events that bring parents and children together.

“We’re doing an ongoing process to heighten relationships with children and their fathers,” he said.

Essay entries are due at Jan. 22 and the contest is only open to children living in School Districts 28 and 29. The entries can be mailed to the assemblyman’s district office at 129-32 Merrick Blvd.

For more information, call 718-723-5412.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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