History Channel: Being an American Essay Contest

Image courtesy of the Bill of Rights Institute.

Something Americans can be thankful  for this week,  the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There’s an essay contest with cash prizes to encourage high school students to study the founding principles in those documents.

Students on military bases and U.S. territories as well as high school students throughout the United States can participate. The top three student winners from each of five geographical regions will be awarded cash prizes. Teacher sponsors of each student winner will also receive a cash prize.

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION:  Bill of Rights Institute, Arlington, VA.

The Bill of Rights Institute, founded in 1999, is a nonprofit educational organization. The mission of the Bill of Rights Institute is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

FUNDING PROVIDED BY:  History Channel (New York City, NY).

CONTEST GOAL:  To help promote dialogue among students and teachers about American founding principles. The Essay Contest serves as a key part of the Bill of Rights Institute’s mission to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

ESSAY QUESTION: “How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?”

ELIGIBILITY:  Students in grades 9-12 who are U.S. citizens or legal residents and are either attending public, private, religious, or charter schools, being home-schooled, or participating in a GED or correspondence school program but are no older than 19 years of age.  Military bases and U.S. territories are also invited to participate.

ESSAY LENGTH:  No more 1,000 words.

JUDGING CRITERIA:

  • Adherence to Essay Question
  • Originality
  • Organization
  • Writing Style
  • Depth of Analysis

JUDGES:  High school teachers

STUDENT CASH PRIZES:  Three cash prizes per region will be awarded to students:

  • First Prize:                              $1,000 each
  • Second Prize:                           $500 each
  • Third Prize:                                $250 each

TEACHER CASH PRIZES:  Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded to the teachers of all winning students:

CONTEST START DATE:  September 17, 2011

DEADLINE FOR ESSAY SUBMISSIONS:  December 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. All essays must be submitted at www.BillofRightsInstitute.org/Submit.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:  February 2012

WEB SITE AND CONTEST GUIDELINES:  www.BillofRightsInstitute.org/Contest

2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR PARTICIPATING REGIONS: 

North Eastern Region:
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Southern Region:
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia as well as Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands

Mid-Western Region:
Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Central Region: 
Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming

Western Region: 
Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington as well as Guam, American Samoa, and American Armed Forces Schools Abroad (APO)

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  1. […] Read the original: History Channel: Being an American Essay Contest « Off The Base […]

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