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Poetry contest open to Minnesota's military children

In recognition of the Month of the Military Child and National Poetry Month in April, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced recently that he is hosting a poetry contest for children of military families in Minnesota. The theme of the contest is, "My Experience as a Military Child."

The contest is open to all school-age children of military families in Minnesota. The three age categories are kindergarten to 6th grade; 7th to 9th grades; and 10th to 12th grades. Winners from each category will receive an invitation to attend a reception at Franken's St. Paul office to meet the senator and his wife, Franni.

Also on hand at the reception will be several special guest judges, including Minnesota Commissioner of Education Dr. Brenda Cassellius; Minnesota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Larry Shellito; Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, Major General Nash; Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen; Minnesota author Kao Kalia Yang; and Minnesota Lynx Coach Cheryl Reeve.

Top winning poems in each category will be framed and displayed in Franken's offices in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. The overall winner will receive an autographed book by famed Minnesota author Garrison Keillor.

For entrance in the poetry contest, submit a poem by April 16 to or by mail to: Office of Sen. Al Franken, c/o Poetry Contest, 60 Plato Boulevard East, Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55107.

Participants may only submit one entry, no longer than 300 words. Each entry must include the child's name, the parent/guardian's name, a phone number and home address, and the name of the child's school. Clearly indicate participant's age category.