Essay contest winners will receive a monetary prize at the event on Sept. 15, and one essay will be chosen from each of four age groups. The essay awards will be presented during the program from 2 to 2:45 p.m.
The contest is part of the educational fun, said Hadaway, adding that those who enter will gain a more in-depth and firmer knowledge of the constitution.
“The whole objective is to educate the citizens of Northwest Georgia,” Hadaway said. “Friends of the Constitution is a nonprofit, non-partisan, non-political group wholly devoted to educating the citizens about the Constitution.”
Hadaway said there were 16 entries last year, but she expects there to be many more this time around.
The contest categories are elementary school (fourth- through sixth-graders), middle school (seventh- and eighth-graders), high school (ninth- through 12th-graders) and college or adult. The elementary school winner will receive $25, the middle school winner will receive $50, the high school winner will receive $75 and the college or adult winner will receive $100.
Elementary entries must be at least 250 words and neatly hand-printed. All other age groups must be typed and between 500 and 750 words. The essay contest is open to the public, except for Festival Planning Coordinators.
A Georgia state senator who is a constitutional scholar crafted the essay questions and will grade and judge the responses, Hadaway said.
The Constitution Day Festival will take place at Rotary Plaza and The Forum in downtown Rome on Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., she said, and the event is a fun and educational festival with scavenger hunts and prizes throughout the day.
A copy of all essay questions were sent to all the public and private schools in Floyd County, said Hadaway. However, for adults who wish to compete, the college/adult essay question is as follows:
The Preamble to the Constitution outlines the purpose of the document and lists several general authorities which were being extended to the new federal government. Two of those are to “insure domestic tranquility” and “provide for the common defense.” Explain what each of these phrases mean and why the framers made them separate and distinct. (Hint: Refer to the Webster 1828 dictionary to define the terms as they were understood during the time of the Constitutional Convention.)
A copy of the Webster 1828 dictionary can be found online at http://1828.mshaffer.com/.
Only essays entered by Aug. 31 will be eligible to enter the contest and essays will not be returned to the essayists. Essays should include the writer’s name, address, phone number and grade (or indicate adult).
Essays are to be submitted by mail to: Constitution Day Festival, 109 Wood Valley Drive, Rome, GA 30162.
Those who have questions about the contest or the Constitution Day Festival can email FOTConstitution@hotmail.com.