Annual peace essay contest opens for all seventh and eighth graders

ANNAPOLIS — All Maryland middle school students are invited to enter a statewide writing contest focusing on the themes of peace and social justice.

The contest, which is sponsored by Anne Arundel Peace Action, the Maryland Peace Action Education Fund, the Benjamin Peace Foundation and the Peace and Justice Center of Annapolis Friends Meeting, is open to all 7th and 8th grade students enrolled in public or private schools in Maryland and to home-schooled students corresponding to the same grade levels.  This is the 19th consecutive year the contest has been conducted.

Four cash prizes will be awarded:  $350 for first place, $250 for second place,  $150 for third place, and $100 for fourth place.  The winners will be honored at a special ceremony, although attendance is not required to receive an award.

To enter, students must submit an entry of up to 1,200  words on this topic:

“Malala Yousafzai  was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote “the right of all children to an education”.  Malala at age 17 is the youngest person to receive a Nobel prize in any category.  Her endeavors on behalf of education for girls in her native Pakistan resulted in an attempt by extremists to assassinate her. Her example demonstrates that young people can make a difference even on issues that create great division in a society and are not necessarily popular with a majority.  Select an issue that is generating controversy or conflict in the United States now to which you think that middle school students can  help to offer solutions.  Describe how students could get involved and what solutions they might offer.”

Entries must be accompanied by a separate cover sheet including the student’s name, address and phone number or e-mail address; school’s name, address and phone number; and the name of the teacher sponsor if applicable.

Entries and accompanying materials must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2015 and mailed to Fred B. Benjamin Peace Writing Contest, 310 Riverview Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403-3328.

Anne Arundel Peace Action and the Maryland Peace Action Education Fund are affiliated with Peace Action, the country’s largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization with approximately 100,000 members nationwide.

For more information, call 410-263-7409 or e-mail

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