Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Student Essay Contest

The Washington Generals annual essay contest focuses on the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle.

Did the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Washington’s first World’s Fair which concluded in Seattle 100 years ago after a run of nearly five months, change Washington state history? A service organization called the Association of Washington Generals is asking for perspectives to that question in their annual essay contest, which is now open to students enrolled in grades 7 to 12.

Pay Streak, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, 1909
Photo by Frank Nowell,
Courtesy UW Special Collections
(Neg. No. Nowell x1515, Image No. AYP591)
and HistoryLink.org

The association sponsors the annual essay contest to promote academic excellence and strong literacy skills. This year’s contest asks students to write a detailed essay answering the question: “2009 is the 100th anniversary of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. How important was the relationship with Alaska to the history of the state of Washington?”

There is no length requirement, but participants are asked to be descriptive in conveying their individual thoughts and ideas and focus on the issues that are the most important to them. A study aid on the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, which drew more than 3 million visitors to the University of Washington campus, can be found on the HistoryLink.org Web site.

Winners in the grades 7-9 and 9-11 categories each receive $500, and the winning senior earns a higher education scholarship of $1,500. The overall statewide winner from all categories is awarded an additional $500. Runners-up in each category also receive cash awards and the teacher or advisor who submits the most student essays will receive $250. Winners will also receive a plaque at an awards ceremony at their school.

Essays are due Monday, December 14. More information and an application packet can be found on the Generals’ Web site or by contacting Victoria Laise Jonas, AWG Student Essay Contest chairperson, at ssjonas@comcast.net

The Association of Washington Generals is a state service organization whose primary function is to recognize worthy citizens who contribute their time and their effort to the community. In sponsoring the contest, the AWG partners with schools to support the teaching of basic skills of reading and writing. The AWG operates in partnership with the office of Lt. Governor Brad Owen.

For more information contact: Victoria Laise Jones, Association of Washington Generals, at (425) 413-1589 or ssjonas@comcast.net or Brian Dirks, Office of Lt. Governor, at (360) 786-7707 or dirks.brian@leg.wa.gov

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