A Winner, South Dakota fifth grader has taken top prize in the 2010 AARP South Dakota Grandparent essay contest. The South Dakota Retired Teachers’ Association (SDRTA) presented Jadyn McCready, of Winner Middle with a $500 savings bond for her winning essay during the group’s annual convention in Pierre in early May. McCready attended the closing luncheon along with her parents and her Grandfather Glen McCready who was featured in essay, with Jadyn reading her winning essay to the group.
AARP South Dakota supports this program each year to highlight the important role Grandparents play in the lives of young people in South Dakota. In 2008, more than 8,300 children in South Dakota were living in grandparent-headed households. 4.1% of all children in the state. More than 5-thousand of those children are living there without either parent present.
This is the 8th year AARP South Dakota has supported the contest which is entirely organized by SDRTA. This year 16 SDRTA units participated. McCready’s essay was chosen from 1463 essays submitted by 56 participating schools statewide.
Livia Hiland, of Newell Elementary received a $300 savings bond for her second place essay. Jimmie Berkner of Koch Elementary in Milbank took third place, receiving a $200 savings bond.
AARP GRANDPARENT OF THE YEAR - 2010 FIRST PLACE WINNING ESSAY
By Jadyn McCready, Winner Middle School, Winner, SD
My Grandpa Glen McCready should be the AARP SD Grandparent of the year. My grandparent joined the army when he was 20 years old. He served in the Vietnam War. My grandpa’s a proud member of the V.F.W. He still supports the troops who protect our country. His name is on a memorial at the Winner Courthouse parking lot for being a Veteran. I got to have my picture taken with our Governor Mike Rounds and my grandpa in front of this memorial. I was proud!
My grandpa was Winner’s fire chief for 17 years. He decided to step down as fire chief this year. He can only be a firefighter until he is 60 years old. So, Grandpa will retire at the end of 2010, after 32 years of putting out fires and saving lives of people and animals.
My grandpa used to be a baseball umpire in South Dakota. He umpired many games including state tournaments. He has played baseball when he was my age, when he was in high school, and even after he became grandpa. Grandpa has always played catch with me since I was little. He always goes to my own games to cheer for me. My grandpa always takes me to baseball games with him when he has to work in the crow’s nest. Sometimes I even get to sing the National Anthem and work in the concession stand. When Clearfield had their 100 year celebration, my grandpa pitched the first inning of the old-timers game. My grandpa is an umpire in the Hall of Fame for the South Dakota Baseball Association.
My grandpa also takes me to basketball games. When I performed for GEMS, and when I play basketball he is there to watch me. My grandpa even shoots hoops with me to help me get better.
My grandpa takes me fishing, boating, and camping. One of the times we went camping; he took me, my friends, and their families on his pontoon boat. I caught my first Walleye with my grandpa on his pontoon. He even taught me how to drive his pontoon!
My grandpa has taught me the value of money and how to save. Whenever I have even a few dollars, he takes it to the bank where he works and puts it in my savings account. My grandpa never misses anything when it comes to me!
My grandpa has been a hero to his country by protecting our freedom. My grandpa has been a hero to his community by being a fireman and an outstanding citizen. And, my grandpa is a hero to me! He teaches me, spends time with me, and he attends all my events. Sometimes he even has to take me. He takes me to school every day and often picks me up from school. For these things that my outstanding grandpa has done, he deserves, and should be the “Outstanding AARP South Dakota Grandparent of the Year”.
Winner Middle School