By: Jen Russon
Students can now enter a contest on how to make their city a better place if they were elected mayor. First place winners to this short essay prompt will enjoy “mayor for a day” status with their city mayor along with a $100 gift card.
The contest, sponsored by the Florida League of Cities and The Florida League of Mayors is open to all Florida seventh grade who attend a public or private school, or who are home-schooled.
The league’s assistant director, Linda Bridges said the contest allows students to learn more about the importance of local self-government.
“It’s also the perfect opportunity to inspire students to make a difference in their local communities. We encourage all seventh-graders to participate and look forward to reading their essays,” said Bridges.
The essays, which must clock in at 250 words or less, will fall to civics students to write.
In Broward County public schools, students in seventh grade must take civics as part of their social sciences and history curriculum.
Elmo Siggia, a civics teacher at Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs said he was excited to use this essay contest in class this year.
“I believe it might help students to utilize what they learned in class to seek real world solutions to problems that they see in their local communities,” he said.
He added that when he questioned his students about the important of civics, the stand out response was: “because if young citizens grow up and don’t know what their rights or duties are then they won’t be able to be active citizens. If there are no active citizens, then a democracy would not work.”
Siggia said his students are taught to understand how municipal government – the kind mayors are a part of – comprise one of the most important levels of United States government.
Thanks to Home Rule, granted by the Florida Constitution in 1968, cities and counties have the power to enact or adopt most programs and ordinances, so long as these do not violate federal law.Home Rule ensures that Coral Springs can, in theory, offer residents everything under the sun.
Download an official contest entry form here, and describe how you would make a difference as mayor and how Home Rule helps make Coral Springs a great place to live.
Essays should be typed and received on or by January 18, 2019.
Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.