More than a quarter of a century ago, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law that created an annual, statewide essay contest
for Kentucky students in grades 9 through 12, to be managed by the Kentucky Secretary of State. A slogan contest
open to students in grades 6 through 8 was later added to the program. The purpose of the competition is to expand the civic awareness of students who are about to be eligible to vote in local, state and national elections and to highlight the importance of this essential element of our democratic society.
In 2005, lawmakers added monetary awards for each winner, with funds to be raised by the Secretary of State's office.
In addition, for the first time, the school with the highest participation rate in the 2015-16 Contest will receive a new desktop computer in recognition of the important role teachers and administrators play in preparing students to be active citzens.
The Secretary of State's Office's funds are not used for prizes.
The sponsors for the 2015-16, 27th Annual Essay and Slogan Contest include the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, the Kentucky Department of Education, and Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. The UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center also judges the essay portion of the contest.
Secretary Grimes is grateful to these partners, who make it possible to recognize and reward the outstanding achievements of Kentucky's future voters and leaders.