April 19 is deadline for 'Make America Better' essay contest

State Senator Raymond Finney and Blount Today are sponsoring an essay contest for students in Blount County with the theme "Make America Better: What Can I Do?"

Two winners - one in grades seventh through ninth and one in grades tenth through twelfth - will receive personal checks from Sen. Finney for $200, plus a prize package of books, a dinner coupon, a certificate and a personal DVD player from Blount Today.

Sen. Finney said the idea behind the contest is to try to get students to think about their future and America’s needs, while also encouraging writing skills.

"I am asking the students to write an essay about ways he or she can make America better, whether now or in the future," said Finney.

The essays will be judged by a group of Blount County professionals. The winning essays, along with the winners’ pictures, will be published in Blount Today.

To enter the contest:

  • Submit an essay of no more than 500 words on the theme: "Make America Better: What Can I Do?"
  • Essays may be hand-written or printed. Send essay to: Essay Contest, Blount Today, 318 S. Washington St., Maryville, TN 37804.
  • Each essay must include a cover sheet with: name, age, grade, school and telephone number. A parent, guardian or teacher of each contestant must sign the essay cover sheet giving the entrant permission to enter the contest.
  • All entries must be postmarked by April 19, 2007. Teachers may use this as a writing assignment and submit any or all of his or her class essays to the contest.

Winners will be notified by April 30 and published in Blount Today in May.

Questions should be directed to Sherri Gardner Howell, Blount Today publisher, at 865-981-9102 or

Essays can not be emailed because the cover sheet must be signed by a parent, guardian or teacher.

© 2007 blounttoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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