In 2004, the Congress decided that "Constitution Day" should be observed in schools each year on September 17 with educational programs about the history and signing of the Constitution. To help celebrate Constitution Day, seven newspapers and the New Hampshire Supreme Court have sponsored an annual "Constitution Day Essay Contest" for grades 5-12 on a topic related to our constitutional rights as citizens.
Teachers and students take note! Here's a fun way to discuss and debate some difficult questions and learn a few things about the remarkable document that has governed our nation for 226 years.
Winning essays will be published in the participating newspapers and winners will be invited, along with parents and teachers, to a special reception at the state Supreme Court and to the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications First Amendment Awards.
|Read 2013's winning essays »||See photos of the event »|
2014 Constitution Day Essay Contest
Bullying always has been an unpleasant and harmful part of growing up. Combining bullying with the pervasive presence of social media – cyberbullying -- allows taunts, insults and harassment that once circulated around the school yard to circulate around the world, 24 hours a day, and stay alive indefinitely. The documented growth of cyberbullying has prompted much discussion about its causes, its effects, who should be responsible for curbing it and what consequences cyberbullies should face.
Some things to think about:
In view of the potential impact of hurtful comments conveyed through social media and texting, should our First Amendment rights become more limited? How?
What is a school’s role in both protecting free speech and protecting students from cyberbullying?
What responsibility, if any, do students have to take action when they witness cyberbullying?
Is it still true that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”?
Essay Contest Rules
Open to students in grades 5-12 in New Hampshire or served by participating papers in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.
• Essay must be 350-500 words. Submissions will be judged on
understanding of the issue, clear writing and thinking, presentation, grammar and spelling.
• Guidance from teachers and parents is encouraged, but the contest is designed as a student exercise, and, as such, essays are expected to be the student’s original work.
• Essay entry form must include the following information:
Student's name, school, grade, home address, email address and phone
number. Teacher’s name, email address and phone number.
• Submit essay to one of the participating newspapers. The student must live in that newspaper’s circulation area.
• Students may submit one essay only. Duplicate entries will be disallowed.
• Essays must be emailed or postmarked by Oct. 6, 2014.
• Each newspaper will select up to two local winners from grades 5-8
and up to two local winners from grades 9-12. These local winners become statewide finalists.
• From these finalists, the state Supreme Court will select one statewide winner in each category.
• Participating newspapers will publish their local winners’ essays.
• All statewide finalists, along with their families and teachers, will be
invited to a reception at the state Supreme Court. The two statewide winners also will be invited to the annual First Amendment Awards presented by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.
P.O. Box 1177
Concord, NH 03302-1177
|New Hampshire Union Leader
Community Relations Manager
Manchester, NH 03108
| Derry News
Assistant Circulation Director
100 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA 01845
111 New Hampshire Ave.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
|The Keene Sentinel
Paul. R. Miller
Keene, NH 03431
Executive Managing Editor
17 Executive Drive
Hudson, NH 03051
|Foster's Daily Democrat
150 Venture Drive
Dover, NH 03820
Learn all about the Constitution from a website created by retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner: http://www.icivics.org/
Text of the US Constitution
NH Department of Education
Constitution Day resources, programs and lesson plans for teachers
NHPTV Knowledge Network
Visit www.nhptv.org/kn/constitution for links to online classroom video on the U.S. Constitution, lesson plans, and reviewed websites.
Information from The Bill of Rights Institute
New Hampshire Bar Association
Find more online resources about the U.S. Constitution
Information from the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA
Education Resources for use on Constitution Day
Guide to the Constitution and "civic education in the real world."
Information on the US Constitution provided by the federal court system