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United Way, Rowan-Salisbury Schools invite students to participate in poetry contest

Rowan County United Way

SALISBURY — Rowan County United Way is teaming up with Rowan-Salisbury Schools to engage students in a fall poetry writing contest focused on this year’s United Way theme, “Every Day, the United Way.”

The theme emphasizes the local United Way’s daily commitment to improving the lives of Rowan County residents.

The contest kicked off Sept. 4, and entries will be accepted through Oct. 12. Students across the school system will write poetry centered on how United Way provides critical health and human services to people across Rowan County. Poems may range from 25 to 200 words and can be written in any style.

Prizes will be awarded in elementary, middle school and high school divisions. Awards in each division will be first, $200; second, $125; and third, $75.

In addition, the first-place winner’s school will receive $500.

All contest costs are being underwritten by donors specifying use for the contest only. No United Way administrative or campaign funds will be used.

During its 2018 campaign, which kicked off Sept. 26, Rowan County United Way is emphasizing the consistency with which its agencies serve people who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control. United Way money supports a wide range of essential health and human services, from youth, family and senior adult programs to emergency services.

“The United Way supports Rowan-Salisbury Schools and its students in so many ways, from Day of Caring to its member agency services,” said Andrew Smith, chief strategy officer for Rowan-Salisbury Schools. “This contest represents another way in which United Way supports our students and our main mission — student literacy. We look forward to seeing the poems our students create, and we appreciate United Way’s continued support.”

United Way campaign Chairman John Struzick said the vision for the poetry contest came about through United Way’s support of literacy initiatives in the school system.

“Our benefactors are keenly aware of the impact literacy has on so many aspects of our lives, including reducing crime and poverty,” Struzick said. “The contest’s principal donor hopes the effort will spark a wildfire of literacy initiatives throughout Rowan County for people of all ages.”

Since 1956, Rowan County United Way has supported human service agencies by organizing and facilitating annual fundraising. The 2018 goal is $1.6 million.

Rowan County United Way serves agencies including Rowan County Literacy Council, The Arc/Rowan, Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Boy Scouts Central N.C. Council, Communities in Schools of Rowan County, Rowan County YMCA, Rowan County Youth Services Bureau, American Red Cross, Rowan County Rescue Squad, Salvation Army, Trinity Living Center, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Families First Inc., Family Crisis Council and Smart Start Rowan.

In addition, United Way serves two partner agencies, Jobs for Life and Capstone Recovery Center.

For more information, visit www.rowanunitedway.org and follow United Way on Facebook.

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