Secretary of State
Middle and High School Students Win Cash for Entries in Annual Contest
(Frankfort, Ky.)--Summer vacation for Kentucky students winds down in a few more weeks and seven Kentucky students head back to the2011-2012 year with cash prizes in their pockets for creativity and writing skills.
Secretary of State Elaine Walker has announced seven winners for the 2011 annual election slogan and essay contest managed by her office with support from the Kentucky Education Association Retired and the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, a division of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.
The contest was created nearly a quarter of a century ago by the Kentucky General Assembly as a technique to promote civic engagement among Kentucky students. Topics for the contest focus on some aspect the election process in Kentucky and First Amendment freedoms included in the U.S. Constitution. Teachers are encouraged to integrate the topics into classroom curriculum by including them in core content lessons so all students benefit.
Secretary Walker said that the Secretary of State’s office has embraced this long-standing commitment for taking civic education to the classroom so the election process comes alive for the voters of tomorrow. The office is responsible for finding funding for the contest. “Our goal is to make voting and the freedoms we are entitled to in this nation real in the eyes of these young people who are the voters of tomorrow,” she said. “Our winners and their classmates will cast their first ballot in a few years and students who participate can motivate their peers to become engaged, too. Voting is a precious right for all Americans and citizens who exercise their vote determine how we, as a Commonwealth, shape the future. ”
Four high school students, one each from grades 9 through 12, were selected by judges to receive either a $1,500 U.S. Savings Bond or $750 each in cash for their winning submissions of 600 words or less (www.sos.ky.gov/secdesk/initiatives/civics / ). Last year’s topic asked addressed the rise in the number of voters who were registered as independents as compared to numbers of independents elected to office and how those numbers may be influenced by scant of media coverage.
Winning essays were written by Natalie Farrar, a Larue County High School freshman from Hodgenville; Norb Wessels, a Covington Catholic sophomore; Travis Wilson, a Burlington junior who attends Grace Christian Homeschool and Emily Hicks, a home schooled senior from Fort Thomas.
Voter Slogan contest winners, whose entries were evaluated by judges and an on-line poll include the following 6th through 8th graders and their awards:
Clare Kresse, who attends the Brown School in Louisville, won $500 for her first place slogan, “Your vote. Your choice. Kentucky’s Future.”;
Bailey Tungate who attends Lebanon Middle School won $300 for the slogan, “They fought for the right; the rest is up to you.”; and
James Jacobs who attends St. Charles Middle School, also in Lebanon, received $200 for his third place slogan, “Vote now or forever hold your peace.”
Students interested in entering the contests for 2012 or teachers who want the contest themes to include in their curricula, should contact Patrick Keal by email at email@example.com or by calling 502-564-3490.
# # #