EAST LAKE — The Council of North County Neighborhoods strives to be a singular voice for the entire community it represents. Its annual essay competition helps bring some of the area’s youngest residents into the fold.
The CNCN launched its 2014 Essay Contest at a meeting Monday evening at Crescent Oaks Country Club.
“It’s grown into a very fun thing and we get 300-400 essays turned in every year,” CNCN president Don Ewing said Monday.
This year’s contest is open to students in grades 3-8 who live in the East Lake area. The two essay prompts are: What would you do to protect deer from getting hit by cars? What can be done to make everyone aware of deer crossing the roads?
Entries must be submitted by May 8, and Ewing said the cooperation of area elementary and middle schools helps immensely. Incentivizing the contest with six cash prizes – the top three writers in grades 3–5 and grades 6–8 – stirs up some extra motivation as well.
“They’re all excited to see this happen every year because it gives the English teachers a carrot to dangle in front of the kids to get them to want to write,” Ewing said. The prizes are $100 gift certificates for first place, $75 gift certificates for second and $50 U.S. Savings Bonds for third.
A panel of CNCN board members will select the winning 500-word essays, which will be announced May 15. Winners will receive their awards at the annual presentation meeting on May 19 at East Lake United Methodist Church. State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and state Reps. James Grant, R-Tampa, and Carl Zimmermann, D-Palm Harbor, will be on hand to help present the awards that evening.
Following Monday’s launching of the essay contest, CNCN board members held an open discussion on an effort to start up a beautification project for the East Lake area.
To learn more about the essay contest contact Ron Schultz at (727) 488-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.