PRESTONSBURG — Several students from around the county had projects which placed in the top three of this year’s Regional Coal Fair, held in Pikeville last month.
According to the CEDAR Coal Fair website, students are invited to enter coal projects in the categories of science, math, English-literature, art, music, technology-multimedia or social studies. The projects were then judged in their respective grade levels of K-4th, 5th-8th or 9th-12th.
Three third-grade students from Prestonsburg Elementary School — Brycen Shepherd (3rd Place in Science), O’Riley Akers (1st Place in Art, 2nd Place Overall), Loren Stephens (3rd Place Music) — each made it to the regional round. Akers was awarded with over $400 for being the overall second-place winner of the coal fair projects, nearly reaching the finals round, which is held in Myrtle Beach.
Laken Parsons, from Allen Central High School, won second place in the art division among high school students.
These projects are displayed and judged at their school’s local Coal Fair, with selected projects being invited to be entered in the Regional Coal Fair, where cash prizes are awarded to 63 category and nine grade-level overall winners.
In addition to these prizes, the Student Project-of-the-Year Award, valued at $3,000, is awarded to the best overall project at the Fair. According to CEDAR officials, over the past 19 years there have been 7,685 projects entered in the Regional Coal Fair, where 1,371 of those have received a total of $202,799 in cash prizes.