Grandparent Essay

SDRSP Grandparent Essay


“Why my grandparent should be the AARP SD Grandparent of the Year”

A grandparent is defined as any older adult who fulfills a grand parenting or “senior citizen mentor” role for a child. A familial relationship is not necessary in order to meet this requirement.


School winner’s deadline: February 1.


Contest is for 5th graders in public and private schools.

Judging Criteria:

Qualifying characteristics:
60% Creativity and Expression
20% Grammar and Form
20% Neatness

Winning essays may be viewed by individual years on the website, Use the Grandparent Essay link.


Cash prizes –

First place—$250

Second place—$150

Third place—$100

Technical Requirements:

Essay must be an original work of the author, up to 500 words in length, be written in English, and include the components of a formal essay, e.g., introduction, supporting points and conclusion. Essay must be submitted on white, 8” x 11” paper (standard size paper), and be legibly hand-written or typed by the author on one side only of the page.

 Only the WINNING essay from each school building is to be submitted to the local Retired School Personnel (formerly Retired Teachers) Association, SDRSP, contact, along with Form A. The author’s name and school must also be written at the end of the essay. 

The school winner is chosen by 5th grade teachers (or other appropriate judges) from the participating school based on the judging criteria provided.

The winning essay from each school must be received by the local SDRSP unit contact by the deadline provided. Form A MUST be attached to the school winner’s essay

Unit winner’s deadline: February 15

Judging for the unit winner will be among all the school winners in that unit’s area. The unit winner is chosen by representatives of the local SDRSP unit. Local units are encouraged to keep a copy of their unit's winning essay so that their winner can be invited to read it at one of their meetings. The winning essay from each unit, along with Form B, must be completed and sent to the RSP Essay Committee Chairperson:

Donna Fischer
2209 Burleigh, Apt 109
Yankton, SD 57078
605-661-2616 (  

The top three essays in the local unit judging will receie first, second, and third place medals. If a unit has fewer than three schools from which to judge, medals will be provided according to the number of essays submitted for local unit judging. If units choose to provide participation certificates, it will be a decision made and followed through by the local SDRSP unit. The local unit should also indicate on Form B the number of medals they need (up to three). The medals will then be given to the unit representatives at the SDRSP convention in May.

Regional judging: March 1

The Yankton RSP will do the regional judging for the essay contest. AARP Regions are Southeast, Northeast, and West. The three regional winning essays, chosen by the Yankton RSP Essay Committee, will be submitted to the AARP outh Dakota State Office by March 1. Forms A and C must be attached.
The Yankton RSP Essay Committee will inform the regional winners that they have reached the finals of the essay contest.

State finals judging: April 1

 The AARP South Dakota office will establish a judging panel consisting of members of the AARP South Dakota Executive Council and the AARP South Dakota State Director. The Yankton RSP Essay Committee will notify the first, second, and third place winners of their placing on or before April 15. The committee will also notify all participating units of who the state winners are. The person submitting Form B will be the one notified by email or if necessary, by mail. The committee will invite the first place winner to read his/her essay at a noon luncheon on the second day of the SDRSP Convention in May.


 The winner is not required to attend the convention. Four meals at the luncheon and mileage for one vehicle will be provided to the winner’s family if they choose to attend. The local units of the second and third place winners will receive their checks at the annual meeting so that they may be presented locally at the appropriate time. The Yankton RSP Essay Committee will provide an electronic copy of the winning essay to the SDRSP website ( following the May convention.



©2023 South Dakota Retired School Personnel. All Right Reserved.