JACKSON, Tenn. (September 9, 2021) – Jackson and Madison County students are invited to participate in the Bicentennial Creative Expressions Contest, which includes an essay contest, poetry contest, and art contest, beginning September 7 and ending October 29. Students can be in public, private, or homeschool, but they must attend a school based in Madison County. Age requirements range from kindergarten through college.
Students will be divided into grade bands for each of the contests. Each school will select one school winner from each grade band. Those winners’ essays, poems, or art pieces will then be judged by a panel of judges to determine overall winners in each contest for each grade band. School-level winners in each contest for each grade band will receive a commemorative Bicentennial Certificate. The overall winners in each contest for each grade band will receive monetary rewards for first, second, and third place. Those awards are: $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.
The school-level winners’ submissions must be dropped off at either Madison County Public Library - Main (downtown Jackson) or North (Stonebridge Blvd) - no later than November 1, 2021. Whitney Norwood at email@example.com is the contact person at the Public Library. If those locations aren’t convenient, please contact Ken Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for pick-up.
On February 8, 2022, a special awards presentation will be held at The NED at 6 p.m., to showcase the winners and award the prizes. The overall winning essay, poem, and art piece for each grade band will be placed in the bicentennial time capsule to be buried in June 2022.
The Bicentennial Creative Expressions contest is sponsored by Leaders Education Foundation, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Jackson, Tenn. Since 2019, Foundation members, donors, and sponsors have been fulfilling their Mission of Making Lives Better, Together. The Foundation meets its Mission through scholarships, grants, and financial literacy resources that provide educational opportunities and promote lifelong learning for students, teachers, and our community.
“We are thrilled to help bring the Bicentennial Creative Expressions Contest to all students in Jackson and Madison County,” noted Leigh Anne Bentley, president of Leaders Education Foundation. “We cannot wait until the February 8th awards presentations where we will see the creativity of these students and have the opportunity to celebrate them.”
Details for each of the contests:
The overall theme for the contest is “Jackson-Madison County: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” More specific writing prompts are designated for each of the below grade bands.
Grades 3-5: The prompt is “Imagine you were a student your age when the City of Jackson and Madison County were founded in 1821-22. Tell a story about what your life would have been like during that time.” (approximately 200 words) (A narrative rubric will be used to score the essays.)
Grades 6-8: The prompt is “The year is 2072 when the City of Jackson and Madison County celebrate their 250th anniversaries. Write an essay describing what you think Jackson and Madison County will look like in 50 years.” (approximately 500 words) (An informational/explanatory rubric will be used to score the essays.)
Grades 9-12: The prompt is “As a part of the celebration of the City of Jackson and Madison County’s Bicentennial, items will be chosen to be placed in a time capsule to be opened in 2072 at their 250th anniversary celebration. What three items would you choose to place in this capsule to best represent Jackson and Madison County? Write an essay that convinces the Time Capsule Committee to include these three items.” (approximately 750 words) (An opinion rubric will be used to score the essays.)
College: The prompt is “You have chosen to attend college in Jackson, Tennessee. Write an essay encouraging other students to choose a college in Jackson by pointing out Jackson’s historical significance, what Jackson currently offers, and what Jackson will offer in the future.” (approximately 1,000 words) (An expository rubric will be used to score the essays.)
The theme for the poetry contest is “Jackson-Madison County: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” The following grade bands will be used: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College.
Students may choose a poetry technique of their choice but must adhere to the maximum of 100 words. (A poetry rubric will be used to score the poems.)
The theme for the art contest is “Jackson-Madison County: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.” The following grade bands will be used: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College.
- One entry per student
- Artwork must be completed entirely by the student
- Artwork must be original - no copyrighted images allowed
- No digital art will be accepted
- Artwork must be completed in the physical media. Acceptable media would include:
- Paint (watercolor, tempera, oil, acrylic, etc.)
- Drawing (pencil, charcoal, pastels, oil pastels, colored pencils, pen, etc.)
- Collage (cut and glued papers, tissue paper, aluminum foil, etc.)
- Sculpting materials for 3-D work (clay, Papier-Mache, cardboard, sculpture, etc.)
- K-5 should be no larger than 16 x 20
- 6-College should be no larger than 24 x 36
Criteria for Judging:
- Interpretation and clarity of the theme
- Creativity, uniqueness, and originality of the theme
- Overall appearance of the art