Essay contest for kids open to April 19

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia County Commissioners’ Association for National County Government Month in April is sponsoring its annual essay contest for eighth grade students in public and private schools.

Students who would like to participate are asked to write a 400-to-500-word essay on the topic “How does my county commission make life better for me?”

A committee of commissioners and association staff will judge the entries. Deadline to email entries is 5 p.m. April 19 and entries should be mailed to jennifer@ccawv.org.

For more information contact Vivian Persons at the association, email jennifer@ccawv.org or call 304-345-4639. Winners will be announced by April 29.

The essay must address the commission of the county where the student resides. Monetary prizes will be given to the first-, second- and third-place winners and a monetary prize also will be given to the first-place winner’s teacher for classroom activities.

The first-place winner and their teacher will each receive $300; second-place student winner will receive $250 and third-place will receive $150.

Winning students and their teachers will be invited to a county commissioner’s meeting to receive the awards. The first-place winning essay will be published in the “Commissioners’ Corner,” the association’s official publication and the winners will be recognized on the association website, ccawv.org.

Essays will be judged on understanding of the role of the county commission, grammar, spelling, clarity and organization of thought. By entering the contest, students and teachers agree to allow their name and photograph to be used in a news release announcing the winners.

Each student is limited to one entry. Teachers must prepare an application to participate in the contest and submit each individual entry as a Word or PDF document with a copy of the application form attached.

The students’ entries can only be submitted by the teacher.

Applications are available by contacting Pam Brust at the Wood County Courthouse at pbrust@woodcountywv.com, or online at Wood County Commission’s website at www.woodcountywv.com.

Entries must include the student’s name, email address and the county.

A goal of the association is to increase information and public awareness about county government and the office of county commissioner. Entries must be accompanied by the application form.

“We do a program for middle school students now to help them learn more about how government and the various county offices operate. This essay contest is something we would certainly like to see our local students get involved with. We had winners from Wood County a few years ago and we’d love to see some this year,” Wood County Commission President Blair Couch said.

“This contest is one more way students can learn about government and how it works. Some of those students may be inspired to one day run for office,” Commissioner Jimmy Colombo said.

“I think it’s very important to get young people involved in the process,” Commissioner Bob Tebay said.