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Citizenship Challenge Philadelphia

Citizenship Challenge Philadelphia


Our Philadelphia-based annual essay contest where students tackle tough civics issues facing our democracy

Who is Eligible? The Challenge is open to 4th and 5th grade classes enrolled in public, private, or parochial school, or home study program in the 5-county Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties). Information is available by contacting Beth Specker at bspecker@rendellcenter.org.

Submission Deadline EXTENDED to November 22, 2019

Finals: December 2019 – Date to be determined

Contact: Email Beth Specker for more information – bspecker@rendellcenter.org or bethspecker@gmail.com

The 2019 Philadelphia Citizenship Challenge Question

The Founding Fathers are considered to be brilliant in relation to the government they created. Which part of the Bill of Rights, do you think is the most important and continues to exert the greatest impact on Americans today?

View Official Rules and Entry Information (PDF)

young girl answers judges panel questions at Citizenship ChallengeClassroom teams are asked to write an essay that addresses their point of view on the assigned issue. Teams take one position and defend their argument in a concise written document of a minimum of 300 words. The contest is drawn from PA Civics standards relating to principles and documents of government; rights and responsibilities of citizens; and information on how government works.

From all entries submitted, ten finalists are selected and invited to make a final presentation of their essay at the National Constitution Center. All expenses are paid by The Rendell Center.

Annual Prizes

  • 1 GRAND PRIZE of $1,000: The first place school will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • 3 RUNNER-UP PRIZES of $500: Each of the three runner-up schools will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • TOP ENTRIES: The top 10 finalist schools will receive classroom copies of the Literature-Based Mock Trial curriculum as well as a civics library for their school.

Presented by

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Finalists of The Citizenship Challenge get an opportunity to support the views expressed in their class essays

elementary school students' presentation on term limits

Citizenship Challenge essay questions cover tough issues like term limits for congress