Archive for September 27th, 2010

The American Immigration Council is proud to sponsor the 14th annual Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest. The contest inspires educators to bring U.S. Immigration history and lessons into their classrooms and gives fifth graders the opportunity to explore America as a nation of immigrants.

Past winners have used the theme “Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants” to discuss their personal immigration experiences, learn about and share family histories or write about the broader questions of the challenges facing immigrants in a new land. Fifth grade students enter their work in local contests which are sponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the National Competition where entries are reviewed by a distinguished panel including U.S. senators, award-winning authors and noted journalists. Winning entries are to be printed in the Congressional Record. The grand prize winner and two guests (including one parent/guardian) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Council’s Annual Benefit Dinner where the winner will be recognized and will recite the winning piece. Local and national judges are looking for student writing that is original, thoughtful and speaks to the Council’s mission to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.


The Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest kicks off in the fall or early winter (depending on the local contest rules) as volunteer attorneys from local AILA chapters visit teachers and classrooms. The attorneys give classroom presentations on immigration to inform students and teachers about the important role immigration plays in our society. The attorneys also explain contest details and get students excited about participating.

In the winter and early spring, teachers submit student entries to local AILA chapters who then select and honor a winner(s) on the local level. In April, local AILA chapters send winning entries to the Council, to be judged by our panel of national celebrity judges. The top national winner is announced in early May.


Theme: “Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants”

Entrants: 5th graders


  • Any written entry (essay, poem, story, interview, etc.) that reflects the theme
  • Entry should be submitted to your contest coordinator (some local contests require electronic submissions, so please check with your coordinator).

Word count: Up to 500 words

Judging criteria: Theme, presentation, creativity and message


To contact a local Contest Coordinator, visit the Council’s Community Education Center webpage at www.celebrateamericawritingcontest.org or email teacher@immcouncil.org.

  • Cover page must include student’s name, address, grade, age, school and telephone number
  • Proof of enrollment in the fifth grade—such as report cards, transcripts or letters from the school principal
  • A Release Form must be signed by contestant and parent or guardian.

See all the details here: http://www.communityeducationcenter.org/community/celebrate-america-creative-writing-contest-2011

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