Nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law that created an annual, statewide essay contest
for Kentucky students in grades 9 through 12, to be managed by the Kentucky Secretary of State. A slogan contest
open to students in grades 6 through 8 was later added to the program. The purpose of the competition is to expand the civic awareness of students who are about to be eligible to vote in local, state and national elections and to highlight the importance of this essential element of our democratic society.
In 2005, lawmakers added monetary awards for each winner, with funds to be raised by the Secretary of State's office. Public funds are not used for prize money.
The sponsors for the 2013-14, 25th Annual Essay and Slogan Contest are KEA and KEA Retired, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Department of Education, the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, and EKU Center for Appalachian Regional Engagement and Stewardship (CARES). The University of Kentucky also assists in judging the essay portion of the contest.
Secretary Grimes is grateful to these partners, who make it possible to recognize and reward the outstanding achievements of Kentucky's future voters and leaders.