The essays will focus on citizenship with length requirements varying by grade level.
Schools may submit two essays for kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth through 12th grade. All submissions can be submitted online through Nov. 10.
Winners will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the state capitol next spring. First-place winners receive a $500 scholarship, with second- and third-place winners receiving $250 and $100, respectively.
“The essay contest was developed to encourage greater civics understanding in Tennessee’s future leaders. I was encouraged by the quality of work from last year’s students, and I am excited about this year’s contest. We are proud to partner with educators from across our great state to offer these valuable resources,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.
Last year’s first essay contest on voting garnered nearly 250 submissions from across the Volunteer State with top honors going to students in Madison, Moore, Shelby and Sumner counties.
The essay contest and last year’s student mock election are part of the office’s civic engagement program.
The program also offers lesson plans based on the Tennessee Blue Book created by Tennessee teachers. The goal is to offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum.
For more information, visit sos.tn.gov/civics.