All students in Kent County, grades 2—12, are invited to participate in Character Counts Kent County’s Annual Six Pillar Essay Contest. Each year a new set of character-focused prompts are provided to teachers and students in January. Prior contests have featured essay topics on how generosity, friendship, integrity and responsibility relate to good character.
Approximately 1,350 students participate annually and winners are selected by panel of judges that includes CCKC Advisory Board Members. Cash prizes totaling more than $1,400 are split between 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each grade level. Additional Grand Prizes are awarded to overall winners: $200 at the Elementary level, $400 at the Middle School level, and $600 at the High School level.
Students are encouraged to use their prize winnings responsibly, our intent is to reward winners with the opportunity of their choice. In the past our winning writers have contributed to their savings for college, they have used their prizes to fund 4-H Projects, and others have used the prize money to help pay for Driver’s Ed or enrollment in summer enrichment camps and sports leagues.
Essay submissions are judged on content, structure, spelling and grammar. Essay’s must feature references to at least one of the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Citizenship, Caring. Submissions should be no more than 1,200 words in length and should be neatly handwritten or typed.
Winners are announced by April 1st; deadlines for submission of essays vary depending on grade level and school – see grade specific details for more information. The Six Pillar Essay contest is sponsored in part by The United Way of Kent County. An awards ceremony is typically held each April at Washington College to recognize the annual Six Pillar Essay Contest winners.
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