Organizers at Koinonia Farm are now planning for the Second Annual Black History Month Celebration 2021 featuring essays and artwork created by Sumter County middle school students. The purposes of the celebration are to encourage development of students’ research/writing/analytical/artistic skills, to build healthy self-esteem and resilience, to build appreciation for multiculturalism and inclusion, and to increase appreciation of African-American History.

According to Bren Dubay, Koinonia Director, “For the students’ prize packages, we need community donations of cash, merchandise, promotional items, and/or gift cards. Generous prize packages give students motivation to participate and reward those who excel. We also need volunteers to judge the essays and artwork according to published criteria.”
Dubay added, “With multiple challenges facing the entire community this year, we at Koinonia Farm believe that positive events like this celebration are as important as at any time in our history, and perhaps even more so.”

Grace Terry, volunteer coordinator for the event, continued, “We are not sure exactly how we will locate the finale celebration in light of corona virus infection concerns. We may have to celebrate virtually this year. All the details will be confirmed no later than early December, but we need pledges of support now in order to move forward.”

Koinonia organizers will acknowledge and express sincere gratitude for all donations through a variety of media. All middle school students who submit an essay or a poster by the deadline in proper form will receive a certificate of achievement. First, second, and third prize winners in both the essay and art contests will receive certificates and additional prize packages.

For the First Annual Celebration held earlier this year, the following generous organizations, businesses, and individuals donated cash, merchandise, or in-kind services: The Americus Times Recorder, South Georgia Technical College, Mr. Kirk Lyman-Barker and Clients First Financial, One Sumter, Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, Jelena Hoston and the Ethyn Johnson Foundation, Kudzu Publications, the Americus, Georgia, Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Mattie J.T. Stepenak Foundation, Clay Jones of Jones Builders, Inc., Rob and Kate Bailey of Sun Art, Susan Bragg of Georgia Southwestern University, and Sunni Zemblowski.

Terry added, “We were greatly encouraged by all those who stepped up to partner with us in the First Annual celebration held earlier this year. We need all our previous donors as well as new partners to help us this year in order for the 2021 celebration to be successful.”

For more information about the celebration, donating prizes or serving as a judge, please contact Grace Terry, volunteer organizer, at (email) graceterry727@aol.com or call 727.487.3207 (mobile phone).