WASHINGTON >> In advance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has launched his “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Challenge.”

Murphy is inviting elementary, middle and high school students in Connecticut “to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by submitting essays that reflect on Dr. King’s dream and their own aspirations.”

Murphy will Skype with or visit schools of the essay challenge winners, and selected essays will be displayed in Murphy’s office in Washington, D.C., he said in a release Monday.

“Dr. King taught us that full equality doesn’t come without a fight. His leadership and passion united millions of Americans, and his legacy will live on forever because of it,” Murphy said.

“It’s clear, perhaps now more than ever before, that our work is not yet complete. I hope this challenge encourages young people all across Connecticut to commit to making Dr. King’s dream and the dreams of their own a reality.”

Deadline for submission is Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Essays can be submitted to Thomas_Clarke@murphy.senate.gov or to the office at 120 Huyshope Ave., Hartford 06106.

Guidelines are: contest open to students kindergarten-Grade 12; 500-1,000 words for high school students (grades 9-12); 300-500 words for middle school students (grades 6-8); 100-200 for elementary school students (kindergarten- Grade 5, pictures optional for elementary school submissions).