Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts
757.259.1525
lmontgomery@ncsc.org

 

Virginia fifth-grader wins NCSC’s 2014 National Civics Education Essay Contest

  

Williamsburg, Va. (April 14, 2014) – Paul Barrientos, a fifth-grade student at Walsingham Academy Lower School in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the winner of the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) 2014 Civics Education Essay Contest, held to recognize Law Day, May 1.

Third, fourth, and fifth-grade students from across the country were asked to write about “What is civics education and why is it important?” NCSC received 75 entries representing eight states. Before judging, students’ names, their schools and the representative states were removed from the entries. There is one first-place winner, five second-place winners, and 12 third-place winners. The finalists represented three states: Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Read the winning essay entries here.

Third, fourth, and fifth-grade students from across the country were asked to write about “What is civics education and why is it important?” NCSC received 75 entries representing eight states. Before judging, students’ names, their schools and the representative states were removed from the entries. There is one first-place winner, five second-place winners, and 12 third-place winners. The finalists represented three states: Virginia, Florida, and Texas.

Barrientos’ essay was selected based on originality and overall content. In his essay, the fifth-grader stressed how having a better understanding of civics education helps people become better citizens. Civics, he wrote, “is education in self-government. Self-government means that citizens are actively involved in their own government,” on a local, state and national level. He also emphasized that civics education “helps us know our rights … it tells us about legislative, executive and judicial [branches] and how they make sure no one has too much power.”

Essay judges were Oregon Supreme Court Justice David Brewer, and Margaret Fisher, court program analyst with the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Seattle University School of Law. Ms. Fisher was the 2013 recipient of NCSC’s Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education.

Second-place winners include: Briona Johnston from Bunnell Elementary School in Bunnell, Fla.; Cate Mauk from Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, Va.; Adelle Barsky-Moore from Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Romiyah Ferguson from Dr. Robert Ingram Elementary School Opa Locka, Fla.; and Devin Daughtry from Pasadena Fundamental School in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Third prize winners include: Kaylee Chapman, Kylie Joy Bruckert, Jack Moffatt and Reina Robinson all from Bunnell Elementary School, Bunnell, Fla.; Dana Abraham and Jake Rinaldi from Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg, Va.; Finnia Wamboldt, Emma Pereda and Aidan Coffey all from Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Cindy Morales from Dr. Robert B. Ingram Elementary School in Opa Locka, Fla.; Haleigh Hurst from Carson Elementary School in Decatur, TX; and Bradley Schramek from Pasadena Fundamental School in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.

 

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