A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington seventh-grader among winners of $1,000 college head-start scholarship


Twelve-year old Obadiah Hamilton of Lexington is getting a head start on saving for college after participating in the On Your Mark, Get Set…Save for College! reading program, sponsored by the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust (KESPT) and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA).

The Hamilton family was awarded a $1,000 KESPT college savings plan account last week at the Lexington Central Library. The Lexington Central Library alsoreceived $500 to use for future reading programs.

Obadiah is a seventh grader at Leestown Middle School.

Eight children across Kentucky were selected as winners and will receive a $1,000 KESPT college savings plan account. The libraries where they participated in the reading program will receive $500 (Photo by Lexington Public Library)

Eight children across Kentucky were selected as winners and will receive a $1,000 KESPT college savings plan account. The libraries where they participated in the reading program will receive $500 (Photo by Lexington Public Library)

KESPT is Kentucky’s official Section 529 College Savings Plan. KESPT and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) teamed up to offer On Your Mark, Get Set…Save for College! to emphasize the importance of reading year round and saving early for college. Thousands of children participated at libraries across the state, and more than 4,600 families entered for a chance to win a KESPT college savings plan account. Hamilton was selected as one of eight winners from across Kentucky.

“Research shows that children who participate in Summer Reading Programs at public libraries keep their brains active and enter school in the fall ready to learn,” says Krista King-Oaks, youth services consultant at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

Parents, grandparents and guardians were invited to participate in the KESPT reading programon behalf of a Kentucky child age 18 or younger. The students were randomly selected to win.

“Our goal is to increase awareness of Kentucky’s 529 college savings program with families across the state, and the libraries are an excellent partner,” said David Lawhorn, KESPT manager. “Families who start saving early for higher education are more prepared when their children go off to college, and they are more likely to avoid overwhelming student loan debt.”

Eight children across Kentucky were selected as winners and will receive a $1,000 KESPT college savings plan account. The libraries where they participated in the reading program will receive $500:

· Spencer Cloward of LaGrange, Oldham County Public Library
· Kannon Crum of Inez, Martin County Public Library
· Avery Ishmael of Hillsboro, Fleming County Public Library
· Taylor Grubb of Barbourville, Knox County Public Library
· Kennick Oldenkamp of Glasglow, Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library
· Emily Seaton of West Paducah, McCracken County Public Library
· Obadiah Hamilton of Lexington, Lexington Public Library, Central Library
· Kailyn Miller of Rockfield, Warren County Public Library

From Lexington Public Library Communications


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