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Essay Writing Contest

Hey kids, what can you do to make our community better?


That’s the theme of the fifth annual student essay contest sponsored by Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Star Tribune. To take part in this year’s contest, students in grades three through five should write about what they have done to make their families, neighborhoods, classrooms and communities better.

Students should give examples of what they have done to be supportive of others, to improve their neighborhood or the environment or fight homelessness, hunger and discrimination.

Teachers, parents and community leaders are encouraged to invite students to participate in the contest. Essays should be concise, inspirational and, most important, personal.

Prizes, donated by U.S. Bancorp, will be awarded to the top 10 winning essayists, and their stories will be published in the Star Tribune.

Essay contest details

What: An essay contest for children in grades three through five. Submissions are welcome from families, community organizations and schools.

Theme: Essays should be no more than 100 words long and follow United Way’s “Live United” theme.

Deadline: Essays must be received by Oct. 10.

To submit: E-mail to or mail to Essay Contest, 404 S. 8th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404. Essays should include the student’s name, age, grade, address, phone number and e-mail address. Essays will not be considered without contact information. (Contact information will not be published.)

Winners: The first-place winner will receive a $500 gift card from U.S. Bancorp. The nine runners-up each will receive a $100 gift card. All 10 winners will have their essays published in the Variety section of the Star Tribune on Nov. 17.

More info: Call 612-340-7400.