Goshen student wins statewide essay contestPublished 8:23pm Friday, February 14, 2014
A Goshen Elementary School fourth-grader, Lauren Chance, is the winner of the Alabama Gerontological Society’s 2014 Essay Calendar contest, which is sponsored annually by the Alabama Gas Corporation.
The Alabama Gerontological Society (AGS) is a non-profit membership organization devoted to improving the well-being of older adults throughout Alabama.
The annual AGS Essay Calendar contest encourages fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students throughout Alabama to write an essay about their favorite older person.
Thirteen winners were chosen from across the state with the winners’ photographs featured on the 2014 calendar.
Lauren’s teacher, Liz Sigers, said the opportunity to participate in the contest was presented to 65 GES students and 10 participated.
Once Lauren decided to participate in the contest, she knew right away that her great-grandfather, William Orris Sanders of Goshen, was going to be her favorite older person.
Lauren said she doesn’t think of Sanders as an older person, rather a special person in her life.
“Ga-ga is special to me because he taught me about God,” Lauren said. “He has also taught me how to help others. He’s a good teacher. Like he said that a flower can bloom anywhere, even in a garbage can. And, he said that God is everywhere and you can talk to him anytime.”
Sanders is a retired Baptist minister and one of Lauren’s most special times with her great-grandfather is sitting with him at church on Sundays.
“Ga-ga is loving and kind and he always has time for me. He has a workshop at his house and he makes things out of wood,” Lauren said. “He made our kitchen table, and I like it a lot. He makes little things like jewelry boxes for me.”
Lauren enjoys helping her great-grandfather in his workshop.
“He won’t let me use the saw but I get to hammer things and sand things. That’s fun but the most fun is just being with him and listening to the things he tells me about.”
As a winner of the 2014 AGS Essay Calendar contest, Lauren received a check for $50.
“I didn’t even get to see the money because my mother put it in my savings account,” she said, with a smile.
Her teacher also was a winner. She received a check in the amount of $100 to be used in the classroom.
Sigers said the money will be used to purchase pencils and paper.
“Because every day, the children need pencils and paper,” she said.
Sigers expressed appreciation to Alabama Gas Corporation and the Alabama Gerontological Society for providing the opportunity for students to participate in the contest that brings together students and older individuals who are special in their lives.