High school students and their teachers throughout the nation have been invited to compete for nearly $115,000 in prize money by participating in the Bill of Rights Institute’s fifth annual Being an American Essay Contest. Top prizewinners and their teachers also will receive all-expenses paid trips to the nation’s capital.


High school students and their teachers throughout the nation have been invited to compete for nearly $115,000 in prize money by participating in the Bill of Rights Institute’s fifth annual Being an American Essay Contest. Top prizewinners and their teachers also will receive all-expenses paid trips to the nation’s capital.

The largest high school essay contest in the country awards 180 students and teachers with cash prizes; essays are about the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. The contest is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a non-profit educational organization in the Washington, D.C. area devoted to educating children about the Constitution and founding principles. The sponsors include the History Channel and the Stuart Family Foundation.

The top three student winners and their teachers from each of nine geographical regions will be announced at a special Washington, D.C., awards gala in the spring of 2011, where they will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000, $1,000, and $500.

Additionally, the contest will award 126 honorable mention prizes of $100 to seven students and their teachers from each region.

Further information, including submission criteria, lesson plans and background information on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, founders and other Americans who have contributed to America’s shared civic values, are available at www.beinganamerican.org.