Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest

The Order encourages all councils and assemblies to sponsor the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest at schools in their communities. The essay contest is a creative way to encourage young people to become citizens who are firmly grounded in the Faith.

The Order has expanded the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest to all Catholic students — in public, private or parochial schools — in grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 during the current school year. The contest has also been expanded to go through the different levels of competition to the international level.

The theme of the essay contest is “Going to the Peripheries.” The contest opens the doors of young minds, enabling the entrants to be creative, thoughtful and introspective in their work.

"Through his Incarnation, the Lord has united himself forever with suffering humanity — not as an abstraction, but throughout history with each suffering person. Jesus is already at the peripheries. The question for us is whether He will be there alone or whether His disciples will be there with Him." - Supreme Knight Carl Anderson
Discuss the role of the Catholic Church going to the peripheries, then select one of the following ideas to complete your essay:
a) Describe the work of one widely known current Catholic who went to the periphery.
b) Describe the work of one widely known historical Catholic who went to the periphery.
c) Describe the work of one person in your life, who helps alleviate human suffering.

First place winners will receive a check for $300, and two runners-up for each grade level will receive $100.

Tell Us About Your Programs
Help us improve the Service Program activities offered by the Supreme Council office by sending reports on your council’s successful activities and/or any suggestions you may have on improving our programs. Send this information to Fraternal Mission Dept., Service Program Suggestions, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or contact us. Please include “Service Program Suggestions” in the subject line.

Action Steps

Eligibility

The Knights of Columbus Essay Contest is open to all Catholic students — in public, private or parochial schools — in grades 8,9,10,11 and 12 during the current school year.

Timetable

July/August: Councils, assemblies and circles order Knights of Columbus Essay Contest Kits from the Supreme Council Office. (Print Version - Online Version)

August/September: Councils, assemblies and circles contact schools to secure cooperation. At this time the date, place and means of recognizing winners should be determined.

September/October: Students write essays. Essays should be submitted to judges by October 15.

October/November: Judges review essays for council level.

The Essay Contest council participation form (#4216) for the council level  should be filled out and sent to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission by January 30.

December/January: District Judging if necessary

February/March: State judging. Essays due to the Supreme Council for international judging by April 15.  Jurisdiction winners should be recognized at the state convention or another jurisdiction event.

May/June: International Essay Contest winners announced by the Supreme Council Office.

Theme and Topic

The theme of the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest is: “Going to the Peripheries.”

Guidelines

  • Essays must reflect the assigned theme and topic, and be submitted by the published deadline.
  • Essays must be the student’s original work.
  • Essays must be typed on 8 1/2” X 11” paper, one sided, double spaced, with one-inch margins.
  • Essays must be between 500 and 750 words long.
  • The student’s name should appear only on the official Knights of Columbus Essay Contest entry form which should be stapled to the essay.
  • All entries become the property of the Knights of Columbus and will not be returned.

Judging

Judges will be selected by the sponsoring Knights of Columbus council, assembly or circle. Council, assembly members, clergy, civic officials and/or members of the community may serve as judges.

Essays will be judged on a 100-point scoring system:
35 points: Content — How clearly is the theme presented?

30 points: Grammar — How well is the essay written with respect to sentence structure, paragraph construction and spelling?

35 points: Style — Does the essay show creativity, imagination and development of the topic in a compelling style?

Sponsoring Organization

The Knights of Columbus Essay Contest is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The official responsible for the contest is the grand knight of the sponsoring council, or faithful navigator of the sponsoring assembly.

Awards

Certificates for first, second and third place winners, and certificates of participation for all entrants, are included in the essay contest kit.

Additional certificates are available from the Supreme Council office free of charge. It is recommended that councils consider monetary awards in the range of $100 to $250 in the form of savings bonds or cash to first place winners. It is also recommended that a special certificate or plaque be given to the school of the champion of each division. The school could then place the award in its trophy case or otherwise display it in the school.


Support Materials

All the materials needed by councils to participate in the Knights of Columbus Essay Contest are included in the Essay Contest KIT (EA-Kit). The kit includes the following items:

 Description   Item  Quantity in Kit
 Entry Form/Judging Sheet     #4208  50
 Promotional Poster   #4209  5
 Religious Freedom Resources Online Only  0
 Essay Contest Guide   #4202  5
 Participation Certificate   #4206  50
 1st Place Certificate   #4207  5
 2nd Place Certificate   #4865  5
 3rd Place Certificate   #4866  5
 Generic Winner Certificate   #4214  5
 Essay Contest Participation Form   #4216  1

When ordering materials, please mail or fax a Requisition Form (#1) to the respective department.Orders made online or faxed in should not be mailed because it may result in duplicate order. Please allow four weeks to ensure delivery by the event.

 

Resources

Article 1

Article 2


Winners

The theme of the 2016-17 essay contest was “Going to the Peripheries.”  The following are the International Contest Winners:

Grade Level

Place

Student

Council

City/Jurisdiction

8 Winner Mary Catherine Warner 367 Norfolk, VA
8 Runner Up Alyse Saucedo 9332 Spring Valley, CA
8 Runner Up Nicole Boccalon 1454 Hamilton, ON
9 Winner Alexandra Wettengel 7914 Hollywood, MD
9 Runner Up Marialena Mouaikei 7364 Adams, NY
9 Runner Up Jackson Bevier Dill 7502 Northglenn, CO
10 Winner Alexa Greenwald 1685 Shakopee, MN
10 Runner Up Phillip Le 13467 Virginia Beach, VA
10 Runner Up Madeleine Lange 930 Cascade, IA
11 Winner Sarah Neubecker 1445 Canandaigua, NY
11 Runner Up David Mantese 1155 Manchester, CT
11 Runner Up Anna Marino 568 Burlington, IA
12 Winner Mary Bern Yaeger 4304 Homewood, AL
12 Runner Up Henry Queen 15161 Atlanta, GA
12 Runner Up Valerie Doze 5341 East Grand Forks, ND

 

Tell Us About Your Programs

Help us improve the Service Program activities offered by the Supreme Council office by sending reports on your council’s successful activities and/or any suggestions you may have on improving our programs. Send this information to Fraternal Mission Dept., Service Program Suggestions, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or contact us. Please include “Service Program Suggestions” in the subject line.