Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Moultrie News will once again sponsor an essay contest in coordination with local attorney Larry Kobrovsky.
This year’s topic will be the meaning of the First Amendment “Freedom of Religion” clause.
Open to all middle school and high school students as well as adults, the contest will accept entries until May 20.
At a time when conflicts between different religious beliefs and non-beliefs are at the heart of nearly every major political issue, the Moultrie News wants to know what its readers and local students think about the meaning of the First Amendment, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
After winning a federal lawsuit based on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, longtime attorney Larry Kobrovsky wanted to make people more aware of the language of the Constitution, so he began a community-wide essay contest. Most people think the First Amendment contains a separation of church and state, Kobrovsky pointed out, when in fact that concept comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote after the First Amendment was enacted. Misperceptions like this one are what Kobrovsky hopes to fix. “I’m convinced that the Constitution is the foundation of our way of life and why we’re exceptional,” he said.
“The more people who are aware of it and wrestle with the language, the better off we’ll be.”
Special to the contest this year is the addition of a featured judge. Gene Tumbleston, a former prisoner of war during the Korean conflict, will join the Moultrie News staff in picking the winners. He is an 81-year-old Mount Pleasant resident. Tumbleston is just one of many POW’s who live among us in the Lowcountry. He is an unassuming man - not one to seek attention for his service to the United States. He is being honored to commemorate his service.
Teachers with the most students participating from their classes will be awarded $250. Prizes are as follows: High School - First place: $250; Second place $100
Middle School - First place: $100; Second place: $50
Adult - First place: $250
Judges will look for organized, clear and persuasive writing, and essays will be judged based on content, organization, style and grammar.
Essays must be double-spaced and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Middle school students should write no more than 300 words; high school students and adults should write no more than 500 words.
Essays will only be accepted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 20. Faxed or mailed submissions will not be accepted.
Include your name, email address, and phone number.
In addition, if you are a student, also include your school, grade and teacher.
Judges will not see this information.
Winners will be announced May 29.
The first place winners’ essays and photos will be printed in the Moultrie News.
Students, here is a chance to show off your knowledge and voice your opinions - and this time it’s for money, not a grade, so it’s up to you to take the initiative.
Teachers, here’s a chance to show off your students and the knowledge they have gained from your teaching.
And for the adults, this is an opportunity to write an essay just like you used to back when you were in school.
If that doesn’t motivate you, think of it as a chance to let your voice be heard.
If that still doesn’t do it, think of it as a chance to win some cold cash to spend on that new grill you’ve been wanting for the summertime.
Call editor Sully Witte with questions at 958-7482.