The Milbank Area Retired Teachers Association (MARTA) named Hallie Schulte as the top winner of this year’s AARP Grandparent essay contest. Schulte is a fifth grade student from Koch Elementary School and is the daughter of Ginny and Jeremy Tostenson and Calvin and Jena Schulte.
Hallie was chosen as the winner from over 60 entries by fifth grade students in the area and will receive a medal from the state Retired School Personnel Association. Her essay has been sent to be judged at the regional competition. From there, three essays will be chosen to advance to the state competition.
Essays were judged based on creativity and expression, grammar, form and neatness. Also earning medals for their essays were Kassidy Harder, second place, and Jorge Franco-Gonzalez, third place.
Following is Hallie’s complete essay about her grandmother, Janet Loeschke:
I think my grandma should be AARP grandparent of the year. She comes to all of my events. Grandma Jan allows me to do a lot of things. She is kind and loving. She lives in Milbank.
Grandma Jan comes to all of my events, including sports and school. She has come to just about all of my basketball games. Grandma Jan lives right across the pond from my house, I go to her house a lot. We either bake cookies or make homemade popcorn when I go to her house. She helps me sew. Once she helped me make a quilt and in the corner we labeled it. The label said A Bug’s Picnic by Hallie Schulte with help of Grandma Jan. My nickname is Bug so that is why it is A Bugs Picnic.
Grandma Jan is like my second mother. In the summer my stepbrothers and I go biking on the bike trail with her. We can hear the crickets, snakes, frogs, and toads in the tall grass. It is so fun! In the summer we also go get ice cream at Triple Dip Lodge. I get a Cookie Dough Blast and Grandma Jan gets a vanilla ice cream cone. Grandma Jan stays updated on Facebook with what is going on with our family. I teach her all about the technology she is using.
When I was younger, and sometimes now, Grandma Jan tells me stories. Some of the stories were fairy tales like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel. Other stories are about when she was young. They were about what her school was like, what her home was like, what it was like growing up with eight siblings, and her mother and father. She is an amazing story teller because she uses a lot of expression.
Grandma Jan allows me to do a lot of things. She lets me play the toy pianos she has even when they get annoying. She is nice and loving. When I’m at her house she has to know where I am at, at all times. Grandma Jan is a very strong believer in God. She goes to church every Sunday. My stepbrother Jackson and I help her serve coffee and cookies. We help with the dishes afterward so we don’t have to sit through a long church service. She goes to a Bible study every Wednesday night. She helps serve the meal and Jackson and I sometimes help wash dishes afterward. She gives awesome life lessons. One of them is to trust God even if you are having a bad day, week or month.
My Grandma should be AARP grandparent of the year because she is awesome! Grandma Jan deserves it because she has a very nice personality and is very helpful. She is very supportive. She supports me, my siblings, and my cousins in anything we do.