COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

PRINS. MEMO NO. 35

November 25, 2008

ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE/SECONDARY

TO:

Principals

FROM:

Linda M. Wallinger

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT:

Announcing the United States Institute of Peace's National Peace Essay Contest

In the belief that questions about peace, justice, freedom, and security are vital to civic education, the United States Institute of Peace established the National Peace Essay Contest to expand educational opportunities for young Americans.

Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U. S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school correspondence program.  Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.  Previous first-place state winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the Institute are not eligible to participate.  Previous honorable mentions are eligible to enter.

The National Peace Essay Contest 2008-2009 topic is Confronting Crimes against Humanity. For more information call (202) 429-3854, fax (202) 429-6063, e-mail essaycontest@usip.org, or visit the website at www.usip.org/npec.

State-level selection categories include the fifty U.S. States, Washington, D.C., U.S. Territories, and American students abroad. First-place state winners are invited to Washington for the awards program. The Institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment.  First place state-level winners also compete for national awards.

1 National award

first place

   $10,000*

1 National award

second place

    $5,000*

1 National award

third place

    $2,500*

53 State awards

first place

    $1,000 

      each 

(*national awards include state award amounts)

Entries must be postmarked by February 1, 2009.

For further information, you may also contact Dr. Beverly Thurston, coordinator of history and social sciences, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at Beverly.Thurston@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.

LW/BT/yba