Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Summer Contest.

Today's blog is a summer essay contest.  

Calling all kids ages 5-12 who love to day dream or think out of the box. You DO NOT need to be an A+ writer to write this eassay. This blog really does not care about how strong your vocabulary is. The only requirement is stick to the theme and have the correct grammar and spellings. 

Before we go further, I do want to clarify that I am not doing this to encourage my kid to write more. In the world of volunteering, I am often faced with the situation where folks think, the effort is so my kids can benefit. It is quite the contrary. If anything, my kids get the tail end of it all. My younger one is too young to write an essay, she might draw. The older one is doing relatively well in writing and he may not be in the top 2% of his age, but is definitely in the top 10% and we are happy to see him thrive.  So this is not for my kids alone. In fact I am not even sure if they will participate. If they do, I promise their entries will be judged by others and not myself. 

Why I am I doing this? The idea came to me last nite as I was chopping cabbage for the salad. Funny how and when ideas creep in. But I fell in love with the thought, ran it by my trusted partner and here I am posting it online. 

The idea took shape last nite, but I think it has been brewing in my head for 7 years now.. ever since I started volunteering in school.  The more I volunteered, the more I realized of the lack of enriching programs for kids who are not exactly what the academic world calls A+ students. All clubs, all contests are geared towards kids who can read, write and add well.  What about those who have brilliant ideas, but don't have the best writing skills or can't add fast enough? Don't get me wrong, I do understand the need for parents wanting their kids to succeed and do as well as the neighbors child and if possible, do better, but in all this, I see a whole population of kids being left out. 

So, this is my two cents to provide an opportunity to kids of all shapes and talents. If you know of a child who has some amazing ideas, creativity but is shy to express it, then encourage them to send in an entry.   The contest is also open to all A+ students too.

The judging is for creativity and out of the box thinking. There are no points for high vocabulary words :)  


1) A child can participate irrespective of how good or not good their writing grades are. 

2) Age limit 5-12.   If he/she is 12+ but not 13 yet.. that's okay too :) If he/she is just finishing up 6th grade and entering 7th.. they can post in the Category 3. 

3) No high vocabularly words necessary. I don't think people should be penalized because they didn't memorize the english dictionary in their schooling years. But yes correct grammar and spelling is needed because in today's world it is as easy as doing a grammar and spell check. 

4) The essay can be handwritten or typed.  If handwritten, please email a clear legible scanned pdf copy.

No poems. I wish I could.. but unfortunately elementary kids are not trained to read or write poems and there are few who have a natural talent. It would so be unfair to others. 

ESSAY PROMPTS:  Please note these are PROMPTS and NOT TOPICS. The child can title their essay as they please.   Choose ONE prompt. 

Submit all entries to:

When submitting an entry,  In addition to your name, a contact email, please state the grade and essay prompt in the top right corner.  

I) The world through my eyes. 

II) If I could change two things in the elementary school, they would be... 

( Try not to think about technology, books, libraries, PE etc.. think out of the box. If you had the opportunity to re-design the way schools are, the way teaching is done .. what would you do?) 

III) Technology, parents and me. 

JUDGING CRITERIA:   The ideas can be fictional. If they are.. try to lead the reader towards understanding how this day can be a reality soon. 

For instance, if you dream of a world where people live for 200 years, it may not be a reality today, but it is definitely possible.  If you dream of a world where people will go back to being monkey's.. that is a little too fictional. But a world where a catastrophic element can wipe of out the entire human species, and the earth regenerates itself - that is possible. 

Out of the Box thinking : 80%
Grammar/Spelling : 20%

JUDGES: Total three. They might be HS students or adults. Will post names once I have approval from them. 

PRIZES: 3 prizes $100/- value. One prize each for the three categories below. 

Category 1: K - 1st
Category 2: 2nd - 3rd
Category 3: 4th - 6th. 

DEADLINE for Submission:  July 31st, 2014. 

Results Announced on: Sept 1st, 2014.

Feel free to pass this on to any student you know and would like to participate.  There are no geographic boundaries. So if you have a nephew in India, that is perfectly fine too.  Technology has reduced barriers, and the prizes will be sent across too :) 

Looking forward to reading all the amazing ideas the younger generation has. 

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