ST. PAUL, MN - In recognition of the Month of the Military Child and National Poetry Month in April, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced that he is hosting his sixth annual poetry contest for Minnesota students. The theme of this year's contest is "Celebrating the Veteran in My Life." "There are thousands of students all across Minnesota who have seen or experienced the sacrifices veterans and their families have made for our country," Sen. Franken said. "Some of them are children of current service members, while others know men and women who have served. This poetry contest will allow students to honor those veterans and to put into their own words what those sacrifices have meant to them." The contest is open to all students in Minnesota grades K-12, with three age categories: Kindergarten to 5th grade; 6th to 8th grades; and 9th to 12th grades. Students can celebrate any veteran or active military member, including a relative, family friend, or neighbor who has had a positive impact on their lives. Winners will be chosen in each age category. Those selected will receive an invitation to attend a reception at Sen. Franken's St. Paul office. Guests include Sen. Franken; and honorary judges; Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen; Minnesota National Guard Major General Rick Nash; Minnesota National Guard Brigadier General Sandra Best, and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. Top winning poems in each category will be framed and displayed in Sen. Franken's offices in St. Paul or Washington, D.C. The overall winner in each age group will receive an autographed book by famed Minnesota author Garrison Keillor. If you or someone you know wishes to participate in Sen. Franken's poetry contest, please submit a poem by April 21, 2017 to poetryOffice of Sen. Al Franken, c/o 'Poetry Contest', 60 Plato Boulevard East, Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55107.

Participants may submit only one poem, no longer than 250 words. Each entry must include the name of the child, the parent/guardian's name, a phone number, and the name of the child's school. Please clearly indicate the participant's age category.