Arlington, Va. - U.S. high school students and their teachers are invited to compete for nearly $200,000 in prize money by participating in the fourth annual Being an American Essay Contest. Top prize winners and their teachers will also receive all-expenses-paid trips to the nation's capital.
The largest high school essay contest in the country, awarding 180 students and teachers with cash prizes and attracting more than 31,000 essays last year, explores the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. The contest is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a non-profit educational organization in the Washington, D.C. area. The contest's national sponsor is David H. Koch. Additional sponsors include Amway Global and the Jack Miller Family Foundation.
Specifically, students are asked to share their thoughts on American citizenship by answering the following question: "What civic value do you believe is most essential to being an American?"
The top three student winners and their teachers from each of the nine geographical regions will be announced at a special Washington, D.C. Awards Gala in the spring of 2010 where they will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 (first place), $2,500 (second place), and $1,250 (third place).