The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is now accepting essay submissions for its 2024 National Civics Bee.
Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the contest gives area students an opportunity to showcase their civics knowledge for a chance to win recognition and cash prizes.
All local sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students are invited to participate in the first round with a 500-word essay. Students are asked to identify an opportunity or problem in their community and share their thoughts and ideas on potential solutions. According to the chamber, this exercise encourages students to explore issues relevant to their communities and fosters a deeper understanding of civic engagement and responsible citizenship. The submission period is open through Jan. 8.
Submitted essays will be reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders. The top 20 students will move on to the final round: a live quiz event designed to test their civics knowledge.
“This competition is not just a quiz; it’s a catalyst for inspiring middle school students in Southwest Washington to become better informed about local, federal and state governments,” Janet Kenefsky, vice president of membership and operations, said in a press release. “The knowledge gained through this initiative will equip these young minds with a competitive edge in the job market.”
The live quiz event will be held March 23. A location for the event has not been announced. Prizes include $500 cash for the first-place student, $250 for the second place and $125 for the third place.
The top three winners from Southwest Washington will advance to the state competition.
Detailed information on the essay topic, competition rules and submission guidelines, as well as information for middle school students, parents, mentors, teachers and nonprofit organizations working with kids is available at VancouverUSA.com/NationalCivicsBee.