Grade 11 students in four of the Semiahmoo Peninsula high schools will test their literary skills by entering the Rotary Club of White Rock 2021 Short Essay Contest.
The annual competition returns this year after being suspended due to COVID-19 in 2020.
Offered in partnership with News from the Ark of Peace, it invites students to write opinion pieces of 400 to 600 words, based on topics of current articles appearing in the print or online editions of the newspaper.
Contest entrants – judged by a panel including senior journalists Frank Bucholtz and George Garrett – are eligible to win a first prize of $ 1,000, with a second prize of $ 500 and a third prize of $ 300. They also have the option of having their winning words published in a print or online edition of the newspaper.
But applicants will need to act quickly – the deadline for submitting applications is June 30.
The schools involved this year will be Semiahmoo Secondary, Earl Marriott Secondary, Elgin Park Secondary and South Surrey White Rock Learning Center.
The coordinating teacher registrations are Kelly Burwash (Semiahmoo), Beverley Shellenberg (Marriott), Jeff Johnstone (Elgin Park) and Kama Money (Learning Center).
âUnfortunately, due to complications from COVID-19, White Rock Christian Academy and Southridge School have decided not to participate this year,â said the club’s Jack Rae, who co-chairs the competition with Raj Ragogopal. âBut we hope they can participate next year.
âIt’s always exciting to see what the students come up with, and we’re always surprised at how much they express their ideas,â Rae added.
âWe decided to make it a contest for the grade 11 students because they are usually in the community for another year,â he noted. âAmong grade 12 students, they tend to disappear for various post-secondary education opportunities by the time the winners are selected.
Students are encouraged to consider views opposing their opinions in their essays, and the choice of topic must be approved in advance by the English department or school administration of each participant.
Anonymous applications will be submitted by each school for evaluation.