Students in fifth to eighth grades will be putting pen to paper in the next weeks to express their feelings about being Americans.
"Why I am proud to be an American," is the inspirational title for an essay contest sponsored by Craig Elks Lodge 1577. The contest is judged in two divisions -- fifth- and sixth-graders in one, and seventh- and eighth-graders in another.
"We expect to start getting the essays in the next 10 days," said Larry Larson with the Elk's Lodge. "The children are really good with the essay contest."
Larson said that children in Moffat County are patriotic, and they usually do well in the competition.
The top three essays from each division will move onto the district chairperson to be judged, and the top three selected at that level in each division will be forwarded to the state chairperson.
Youths who are considering a military career might benefit from the essay contest, Larson said. When representatives in Congress are considering appointments to service academies, patriotic essays are one thing they may consider.
"When applying to the Air Force, Army or Navy, they take into consideration things like being on the shooting team, or doing well on essay contests," Larson said. "The youth in Craig have a better work ethic and attitude than in some other places."
The essays that take the top spot at the state competition will move on to the national competition, where the prize of a $500 savings bond is awaiting the top essay in the country.
Second place and third place winners will receive bonds for $300 and $200, respectively.
Rules include the essays not exceeding 250 words in length, they are written in ink and that they include the youth's name, address, grade, school attended and sponsoring lodge.
The deadline for entries to be submitted to the local lodge is Jan. 10.
Judging criteria includes originality, development of theme, and mechanics and neatness.
For more information, call Dora Watson at 824-2251.
Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or firstname.lastname@example.org.