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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

Presented by

PECO logo

The 2019 PECO 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?

Finals: December 12, 2019 at the National Constitution Center

The 2019 PECO Philadelphia Citizenship Challenge Finalists

  • Ms. Christine Delesandro’s 5th grade class from Anne Frank Elementary, The School District of Philadelphia
  • Ms. Linda Raitt’s 5th grade class from Buckingham Elementary School, Central Bucks School District
  • Ms. Sarah Quinn’s 4th grade class from Copper Beech Elementary, Abington School District
  • Ms. Rachael Pinsley’s 5th grade class from Glenwood Elementary School, Rose Tree Media School District
  • Ms. Samantha Barbato’s 5th grade class from Ithan Elementary, Radnor Township School District
  • Ms.  Maureen Kroener’s 5th grade class from Lower Gwynedd Elementary School, Wissahickon School District
  • Ms. Ann Friedlander’s 5th grade class from Merion Elementary School, Lower Merion School District
  • Ms. Mindy Civan &  Mr. Sean Burg’s 5th grade class from Perelman Jewish Day School, Stern Center
  • Mr. Todd Serpico’s 5th grade class from Radnor Elementary School, Radnor Township School District
  • Ms. Shealyn Miles 5th grade class from St. Bernadette of Lourdes, Drexel Hill

The Challenge was 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).

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

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.

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