Students invited to enter poetry contest for Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

“Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us…that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.”

Those words were spoken by the 40th President of the United States and Illinois native Ronald Reagan, and organizers of the state’s Reagan Centennial hope Illinois students will create words of their own for the “Poetry for the President” contest. Original entries in the elementary, middle and high school divisions must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2011, and the statewide winners, judged by Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein, will receive cash prizes and an IPAD.

The “Poetry for the President” contest is sponsored by the Illinois Reagan Centennial Commission, Illinois Press Association, and the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. Information about the contest and about Reagan’s life and work is available at www.leeogle.org, then click on “Poetry for the President.” Entries must be submitted to the students’ Regional Office of Education by Jan. 15.

Local winners will advance to an area-wide competition; area-wide winners will receive $50 gift cards from Barnes and Noble and will advance to the statewide competition to be held April 8, 2011 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. First and second place statewide winners in each division will receive an IPAD from the Illinois Press Association, and teachers of the statewide winners will receive a prize valued at $50.

For more information, contact your local Regional Office of Education/Intermediate Service Center, or poetryforpres@leeogle.org.  

The Illinois Reagan Centennial Commission was formed to commemorate the 100th

birthday of former President Ronald Reagan; to stimulate and encourage the creation and growth of programs about Reagan; to highlight and publicize the institutions in Illinois that are related to Reagan’s life; and to work with and coordinate statewide organizations and groups commemorating his 100th birthday. For more information, visit www.illinoisreagancentennial.com. 

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on Feb. 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. He lived and worked in Dixon and attended Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois before moving to California in 1937 to become an actor. He appeared in more than 50 films before serving as Governor of California from 1967 – 1975. Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States and served from 1981 – 1989.  He died on June 5, 2004.