Students win essay contestPublished 12:03am Thursday, February 23, 2012
Three Dowagiac Middle School students Wednesday were named local winners in the 43rd annual America and Me Essay Contest sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.
DMS’s participation was sponsored by Dowagiac Farm Bureau Insurance agent Jeff Neumann.
Earning first-, second- and third-place awards are eighth-graders Amanda McElheny, Annie Ennesser and Victoria Villegas.
Neumann presented them certificates for their achievement, challenging the girls to text in complete sentences with proper punctuation.
As DMS’s first-place winner, Amanda, who wrote about First Christian Church youth group leader Chad Benkert for the 2011-2012 topic, “My Personal Michigan Hero,” will have her name engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school. Her essay advances to state-level competition, from which Michigan’s top 10 writings will be selected.
Statewide winners, announced in April, each receive a plaque, a medallion and $1,000 cash.
In addition, the top 10 essayists will be honored at a Lansing banquet, meet top government leaders and be featured guests at a Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball game dedicated in their honor.
A team of finalist judges that includes a top state government official and the sponsoring teachers of last year’s top two statewide winners determines the ranking of the state top 10.
Several thousand eighth-graders from more than 400 Michigan schools participated.
Started in 1968 and open to all Michigan eighth graders, the contest encourages Michigan youngsters to “explore the greatness of America and its people.”
As sponsor, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Tags: Dowagiac Middle School