Jan. 17: Community Celebrates MLK Day

Jan. 17: Community Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Student Winners
Posted on 12/16/2021
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Calendar showing Jan. 17 as MLK Day with Live the Dream logoUpdate posted Jan. 12, 2022

Due to the recent surge in positive COVID cases, the in-person march has been canceled. The MLK Day committee encourages the community to instead march to one of the drop-off locations supporting this year's food drive (details below). The virtual programing airing live at noon on Monday, Jan. 17, will continue as scheduled.


The entire West Chester Liberty community is invited to attend a virtual edition of the 23rd annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17 at noon. The virtual program follows the 10 a.m. in-person community march, which extends from West Chester Township to Liberty Township.


This year’s student contest, themed "Beloved Community,” encouraged students to critique their life experiences in light of Dr. King’s goal for a more just and kind society. All winning essays, skits, songs, artwork or video will be recognized and shared during the virtual program, also complete with a keynote address, music and other elements from the traditional in-person celebration.


Congratulations to this year's student winners: 


Early Childhood Awards


  • Fine Art: Olivia Abbs, first grade, Shawnee ECS
  • Overall: Clayton Hoover, 2nd grade, Wyandot ECS

Elementary School Awards


  • Fine Art: Benjamin Curry, Jibril Hartford, Samuel Harold, Aidan Jones, Rajkumar Napier, 6th grade, Freedom Elementary.

  •  Fine Art: Fifth-graders Asa Abrams (Woodland), Kody Kampos (Independence) and Josiah Runion (Adena).

  • Special Merit: Lucas Rodriguez, sixth grade, Independence Elementary.

  • English Language Learner: Dan Kim, fifth grade, Woodland Elementary.

  •  Overall: Caleb Abbs, fourth grade, Freedom Elementary.

Junior School Awards


  • Fine Art: Adah English, eighth grade, Ridge Junior.

  •  Special Merit: Maria Baker, eighth grade, Hopewell Junior.

  •  English Language Learner: Kimberly de Leon Jacobo, eighth grade, Hopewell Junior.

  •  Overall: Emeline Slusher, seventh grade, Hopewell Junior. 

High School Awards


  • Special Merit: Harry Connerty, Lakota East Freshman.

  •  Overall: Mary McLinden, Lakota East Freshman. 

Grand Prize Winner


  • Celina Zarour, eighth grade, Hopewell Junior.

The “March for Unity” will take place in person this year and will follow a new symbolic route that connects West Chester and Liberty townships. The entire community is invited to gather at the southwest corner of the Cabela’s parking lot (7250 Cabela Drive, West Chester) at the intersection of Tylers Place Boulevard and Cabela Drive at 10 a.m. Participants will proceed to Liberty Center, where they will be treated to cocoa in the “Living Room” section of the mall.


A special food drive throughout January benefiting Reach Out Lakota and Faith United Methodist church is continuing this year as well.. Specific drop-off locations include EDGE Teen Center, the West Chester Township offices, MidPointe Library West Chester and Liberty branches, the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance, or directly to either Reach Out Lakota or Faith United Methodist Church. 


The virtual program, featuring all student winners, will air at noon via West Chester's Spectrum public access channels 4 and 15 and will also be posted on the Live the Dream website. The program can also be accessed live on the West Chester Township YouTube channel or the West Chester Township Vimeo channel.