HLLG opens contest to special needs students
On Friday, Nov. 16, members of the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group (HLLG) visited the Separate Public Day School, Claremont High School, to discuss Henrietta Lacks and her contributions to medicine. The group also collected essay contest submissions from students. This marked the first time in six years that the Annual Essay and Video Competition accepted submissions from special needs students.
According to HLLG president Courtney Speed, Daniel Appley, Grade 12 Language Arts teacher at Claremont, reached out to HLLG after reading an article about the essay and video competition in the Dundalk Eagle.
“He wanted to know if a category could be created for special needs students because he teaches his students the Rebecca Skloot book,” she added.
After some consultation with judges and Mr. Appley, the competition is now open to
special needs students in high and middle schools.
Submissions may include text and graphics/artwork and address one of the two topics: the contributions of Mrs. Lacks to modern medicine and why it is important to remember her today or write a letter to Mrs. Lacks and share how you feel about the contribution her cells have made to society.
During a discussion with HLLG, students reported overwhelmingly that the best thing they liked about Mrs. Lacks story are the miracle of her cells and her family.
Senior Juanye Jones reported that he, “Liked that her cells were used to make lotion.”
Jerri Lacks Whye, granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks, will present the awards in the special needs category during the Black History Month Event scheduled for Feb. 24, 2019, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 651 Mount Olive Road. According to Whye, “It is a pleasure to present the awards in honor of my aunt Elsie, my grandmother’s oldest daughter.”
All middle, high and home school students are invited to submit work by Monday,
Dec. 31, 2018 at midnight to hlacksle[email protected]
Daniel Appley, Grade 12 Language Arts teacher at Claremont, reached out to HLLG after reading an article about the essay and video competition in the