This contest is named in honor of a community member who dedicated her professional and personal life to the pursuit of excellence in public education and literacy. It is geared for 8th grade students on a voluntary basis.
An article in the New York Times in March of 2013 served as the inspiration for the theme of the contest: My Family; My Heritage. Research indicates children who know more about their family’s history tend to do better when facing challenges.
You can read the article here: https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/what-role-does-storytelling-play-in-your-family/
The guidelines for the essay contest encourage writers to interview two family members of a different generation and develop a series of questions to ask them regarding their personal history and background.
The winning essays are based on unique style, original voice, fresh point of view and creativity, along with valuable content and research incorporated into the essay. Of course, spelling, grammar and mechanics also count.
A cash award is presented to the winning writer.