Mayor Vincent C. Gray

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November 16, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Encourages DC Students to Participate in Essay Contest on Meaning of Democracy for District Residents  

Contest Open to Students in DCPS and D.C. Public Charter Schools

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(WASHINGTON, DC) – The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative is partnering with the .DC Public Libraries and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities to present its first annual Student Essay Contest. The theme: “As A Citizen of DC, What Does Democracy Mean to Me?”

“This is a great opportunity for students to express themselves, engage with what it means to be a citizen in our democracy, and call attention to our own quest for democracy in the District,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray said. “I encourage all DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools students to enter!”

Open to all DC Public and Public Charter schools students in grades 5 – 12, the contest asks the students to use critical thinking and to express themselves in their entries. The question the theme poses asks the students to consider the broad concept of democracy as it applies to their own lives. The idea is to engage middle- and high-school students, teachers, principals, parents, the libraries and the DC community to celebrate students’ ideas, self-expression and writing skills and also to raise awareness of the important theme of self-determination.

The contest starts today. The winner in each age group will receive a $1,000 prize and the school will rewarded with professional development opportunities for teachers.

For more information, visit the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative’s website at