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Submissions open for annual ‘My Help List’ essay contest

Central Virginian students can now share their tales of helping others in the annual “My Help List” contest.

The contest asks kindergarteners through 12th graders to use the prompt “It’s important to help others because…” and share five things they’ve done or can do to help someone.

It’s the ninth iteration of the “My Help List” contest, created by Charles Alexander — the Charlottesville author, song producer and award-winning motivational speaker known in his educational work as Mr. Alex-Zan. The contest is held in honor of Virginia A. Gatewood and focuses on character, personal responsibility, and respecting and valuing others.

The deadline for the contest is Friday, April 21. Entries must be 150 words or fewer, and can be mailed or dropped off at Jones Heating & Air, 633 Rose Hill Dr., Charlottesville.

Four winners in different age divisions will be awarded $100 during a ceremony later this year. The four divisions are kindergarten through second graders; third through fifth graders; sixth through eighth graders; and ninth through 12th graders.

The winners will be announced on Channel 29 and at


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