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Fostoria students carry on ‘The Dream’

By BRIAN BOHNERT
STAFF WRITER
To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., five Fostoria students were recognized Monday for award-winning essays centered around the famed “I have a dream” speech.
Fostoria students Ashley Little, a first-grader at Riley Elementary; Arielle Scott, a third-grader at Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School (FIES); Freedom Aspell, a fourth-grader at FIES; Sarah McCarty, a fifth-grader at St. Wendelin Catholic School; and, RubiAhanna Dessausure, a sixth-grader at FIES, took part in the Tiffin Seneca Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee’s annual essay contest.
This year’s essay question was: “After 50 years, the Dream is still important because…?”
Mayor Eric Keckler and the Fostoria Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People invited the students to the Municipal Building Monday afternoon for a short awards presentation and to practice reading their winning essays in front of family and friends before attending the annual Martin Luther King Jr. dinner and celebratory program in Tiffin Monday evening.
Keckler, who lived through the formative years of the Civil Rights movement, said it is very important for future generations to carry on the beliefs and ideals of equality amongst everyone, no matter the ethnicity.
“With me kind of growing up in that era, I understand how everything played out; but, it’s important that the ideals of freedom and equality still ring, maybe even louder,” Keckler said.
King read his famous speech on Aug. 28, 1963, before a crowd of more than 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C. — exactly 100 years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves all across the country.
The local event was sponsored by Faith United Methodist Church; Tiffin University and its Black United Students; Heidelberg University and its Black Student Union; the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune; the Fostoria Branch of the NAACP; and individuals from the Fostoria-Tiffin community.
The essay contest, which is sponsored annually by the Tiffin Seneca MLK Day Committee, is hosted in conjunction with the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

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