Oakseed Ministries International Essay Contest for Youths Worldwide

Oakseed Ministries International Essay Contest:
“Compassion and The Illiterate Child”

Program Offered: Essay writing
Program Level: Contest (Secondary/High school, Undergraduate)
Provider: Oakseed Ministries International
Country to Write in: Any country

Essay Description
Oakseed Ministries International announces its seventh annual essay contest for youths. The topic of this 2012 contest is Compassion and the Illiterate Child.

The Oakseed Ministries essay contest is a part of a year long effort to raise awareness of the plight of illiterate children that will culminate in the Annual Day of Prayer for Children at High Risk in 2012.

All eligible youth worldwide are welcome and encouraged to apply for the Oakseed Ministries International Essay Contest.

To be eligible to submit an essay, students must meet the age requirements below as of May 2, 2012. You may submit only ONE essay.

Age Categories:
  • 17years and under: 5,000 characters or less (approx. 1000 words in length).
  • 18 – 22 years: 7,500 characters or less (approx. 1500 words in length).
Eligible groups
Citizens of ANY country

Participating Institutions
Oakseed Ministries International

Fields of study
The topic of this essay is to raise awareness on the plight of illiterate children, and is:
“Compassion and Child Trafficking”:

Choose one topic and write an essay exploring the specific area on “Compassion and Child Trafficking”, keeping in mind the backdrop of compassion (see 'Choose Essay Topic' below).

Scholarship benefits
  • Awards and Recognition: $1,000 will be awarded to the author of the best essay in each age category. 
  • Second place essays will receive a $500 award and Honorable mention will receive a $250 award.
The winners will be notified in June 2012 and the winning essays posted on the Internet at http://essay.oakseed.org.

Method of Application
1). Choose Essay Topic:
Choose one topic and write an essay exploring the specific area, keeping in mind the backdrop of compassion.
  1. Survey the problem of illiteracy among poor children. Which countries have the highest children’s illiteracy rates and why? What countries are effectively dealing with this issue and how?
  2. What is the most effective way to teach children to read? Compare and contrast the “look and say” method and the “intensive, systematic phonics first” method. Is either effective, or is there a better method for teaching children to read?
  3. Many disorders hamper development of reading skills. Discuss the different learning disabilities. What are the causes of these disabilities; biological factors or the learning environment? What methods help each disability most effectively?
  4. Illiteracy and crime. Select 2-3 countries or American cities and compare the illiteracy and crime rates. Discuss efforts to promote literacy in high-crime areas and what involvement you could have with them.
  5. Illiteracy, culture, and the internet/mass media. How do both cultural norms and modern day technology contribute to the pandemic of illiteracy? What are solutions to this problem?
  6. Economic impact of illiteracy for the family, the community, and nations. Is there a relationship between illiteracy and poverty? Is literacy a basic human right of a child? Discuss how children’s literacy should be included in the economic plan of a nation.
  7. What are outstanding examples of literacy development among children? Choose three individuals, organizations, or government agencies that have focused on this area. Describe their methods and list the major results. Is there a way for you to exercise compassion by helping one of these?
2). Essay Format:
  • The essay must be an original, unpublished work.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual perspective should be present within the essay.
  • Sources are to be cited in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes. You do not need to provide a bibliography.
  • Essays should be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1″ margins. On the lower right corner of your last page enter your word count. Your name must not appear on the essay pages, only on the cover sheet.
  • Entries that do not meet these submission guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Entries will not be returned. All entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2012.
3). Essay Evaluation Criteria:
Each essay should:
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding child trafficking and its implications on society.
  • Show the author has personally wrestled with the nature and character of compassion.
  • Demonstrate the student’s own serious reflection on the current and future problems facing child trafficking.
  • Be focused and well-reasoned.
  • Use correct spelling and grammar.
All entries will be judged, according to age category, using the following criteria:
  • Awareness of the problem (1/3 total score)
    Demonstrate knowledge and depth of understanding about the issue from your research.
  • Quality of analysis (1/3 total score)
    Develop your own perspective on the issue. This perspective should be reflected in your analysis of the issue and your personal response to it.
  • Style and mechanics (1/3 total score)
    Use proper spelling and grammar. Your response to the topic should be clear and original.
Essay reviewers from outside Oakseed Ministries will identify the essays that best meet the above criteria. The highest rated essays will go on to a second round of judging by a team of judges who will select the semi-finalists. The prize-winning essays will then be selected by the directors of Oakseed Ministries. All decisions are final.

Essay Submission
1). How to Submit Your Essay Online:
To submit your essay online, visit http://essay.oakseed.org for more information. You may download the 'Essay Contest Submission Form'. All submitted essays must be either in a .pdf or .doc format.
Receipt Deadline: Essays must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on May 1, 2012.

2). How to Submit Your Essay By Mail:
To submit your essay by mail, include the two parts:
(a) Part One: A Personal Information Form
Use a cover page to provide the following information:
  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Home address, City, State, Postal Code, Country
  • Home telephone number
  • Email address
  • School’s name (or specify home school)
  • Grade level (or equivalent)
  • Parent’s or guardian’s name (For age category 17&under)
  • Include the following statement with your Personal Information Form.
    I (your name) am submitting an original essay to Oakseed Ministries. I certify that this essay is my own work. I understand that my essay will not be returned to me and will become the property of Oakseed Ministries to use at its discretion in activities related to furthering a compassionate response to the issue of illiterate child. I further understand that the judges’ decisions are final.
(b) Part Two: Submit two copies of your essay
Send your Personal Information Form and two (2) copies of your essay to the contact address below

Foreign Language Submissions: Essays may also be submitted in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Korean, Swahili, Japanese, and Chinese. See www.oakseed.org/essay for submission guidelines and information on other languages.

Essay Contest
Oakseed Ministries International
PO Box 607
Dunn Loring, VA 22027

Application Deadline: May 1, 2012 (11:59pm EST)
Open to International students: Yes

More Essay Guidelines and Application

Related: Essay Contests for International Students

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