WINNSBORO — The annual Rock Around The Clock Essay Contest has become a yearly tradition to engage the students of Fairfield County to write about family and community.
The deadline for entries has been extended to Monday, Oct. 5.
Fairfield County Schools Superintendent J.R. Green, the administration, staff and teachers have all been enthusiastic advocates and mentors in this project, now in its third year. Last year, more than 400 entries were turned in and hundreds of dollars in prizes were handed out to the winning writers and their schools.
“This year we hope to have more entries, prizes and surprises,” said Dr. Virginia Schafer, chair for the project.
The theme for this year is Healthy, Wealthy and Wise in Fairfield County, reflecting on progressive themes within the county for the last year. Fairfield Behavior Health Services and other agencies have been instrumental in bringing health living skills to the community, through the schools, the churches and other organizations.
Education has also been a key component in Fairfield County schools under the direction of Green and others. Fairfield Schools were awarded the Schools of Excellence for 2015. Wealthy is a product of good healthy living and education.
“We are proud of our history and the progress Fairfield County has made in community engagement and want to encourage our students to voice their opinions through their literary and creative skills,” she said.
Each grade has a specific word limit. Elementary students (ages 6-10) have a 300 to 500 word limit, middle school students (ages 11-14) have a 500 to 800 word limit, and high school students (ages 15-18) have an 800 to 12,00 word limit.
All entries must be typed, double spaced and be original work. All essays are judged fairly by a panel of impartial experts. Essays will be picked up at the school office or at the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce office.
Winners will be honored by the Fairfield County Friends of the Library with a reception and award event for the essay winners on Oct. 18 at 4 pm. These special students will also be reading their essays. The public is invited to attend this open meeting and meet and greet the students, their teachers and mentors. Winners will also be announced in the newspaper and in the Fairfield County Board of Education Newsletter.
Sponsors so far for this event, include the Fairfield County Arts Alliance, Penni and Jim Chandler, The Fairfield County Friends of the Library, David’s Florist, M.O.R.E – a nonprofit, The Inqurendo Book Club and Frankie O Neal- Storyteller.
To donate a prize, monetary award or participate as a volunteer, contact Virginia Lacy, president of the Fairfield County Arts Council, at 803-360-0893. Sponsorship ads will run in the Herald Independent newspaper and in the printed program for the FOL awards meeting.
For information about the contest, for entry applications or to give a donation, call 803-712-4541 or 407-766-8113.