Grade: Senior

#1340. Essay Contest

Reading/Writing, level: Senior
Posted Mon Oct 4 13:24:00 PDT 1999 by Margaret Boohannon-Kaplan (
Essay A
Harry Singer Foundation, Carmel, California
Materials Required: we provide required reading material--print from our web site
Activity Time: 2 to 4 weeks
Concepts Taught: creative writer and organization of material


SUBJECT: The role of personal responsibility in improving the quality of life in our communities

First Prize = $100
Second Prize = $ 75
Third Prize = $ 25

The prizes will be awarded to three essays at every school that enters ten or more qualifying papers. The prizes will be
awarded at the discretion of the Singer Foundation. The judging will be based on how well the rules were followed,
thoughtfulness and a zeal for pursuing the subject as evidenced by the work submitted. Schools entering fewer than ten
students, or papers that are too short or do not abide by other rules, will not qualify for prizes. Please consult the rules. All
participants will receive certificates. Excerpts from qualifying essays, will be published in a book and offered to the 535
members of congress, the press and other officials around the country. Papers may be emailed to anytime before February 15, 2000 to be assured the school is represented in the
book which will be published in the spring of 2000. Later entries will be accepted, but without that assurance.

If you have questions: email phone (831) 625-4223, fax 624-7994

Address surface mail correspondence to: Essay Contest, The Harry Singer Foundation,


Submittals should have a cover page with the title of the essay, school name, student's name, date, grade, age, class,
teacher, school phone and fax numbers.

1.Papers must be accompanied by answers to the questions relevant to the required reading.
2.If you are accessing this information over the internet, print the page you are reading and the pages that follow
(Questions and Required Reading) and make copies for each participating student. If you have trouble try again at a
different time. Server access depends on your mode of access to the internet and traffic in your area, which varies. Let
us know if you have tried unsuccessfully more than three times at different times of the day (or night) and we will help. If
you decide to participate in the Singer Activity, follow the procedure outlined below (or enclosed).

If you received this information in the mail, please make for your students.

1.All quotations used in essays must be noted and cited at the end of the work. The only notation in the body of the paper
should be quotation marks. No quote should exceed four sentences.
2.All essays must be typed into a computer (English only) double spaced, checked for grammatical and spelling errors and
be no less than 750 words nor more than 1,000 words in length. Do not send print copies.
3.We suggest the most computer literate student in the class assume the responsibility of seeing that all essays reach the
foundation via email. Floppies can be brought from home and sent via a school computer and modem or submitted from
a home with a teacher's permission. It is up to the teacher, but we are willing to accept essays one or two at a time as
text copied into an email communication. We suggest you use an attached document if all essays are to be transferred via
email at one time. Please be sure to keep copies at your end until you receive your awards. Please contact us with
questions or problems. 831-625-4223

Excerpts from the essays will be posted on the Foundation web site as they are read. Entries will not be returned, and upon
submittal become the property of The Harry Singer Foundation.


How might we decrease current divorce rates?
How might we arrange our communities so that one-parent can assume the role of a full time home-maker if he or she desires to do so?
Should government provide social services? Why or why not? Can you think of an alternative?
How might we get members of the community to trade the antagonism they often feel towards government at all levels into a feeling of
cooperation and appreciation?
How might we realistically reduce taxes?
How might we help non-profits target their resources to the real needs in a community?
How might we help non-profits attract new resources and maximize existing resources?
How might contributors of time and money maximize their contributions?
How might volunteers find jobs that are worthy of their efforts and abilities?
How might we get non-profits to collaborate rather than compete with one another to stop wasteful duplications?
How might we encourage members of the youngest and the oldest generations to participate in efforts to improve the quality of life in their
How might we relieve the heavy economic burden of the middle generation who are carrying the government as well as the younger and
older generations on their backs?
How might we equalize economic opportunities in a society where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer?
How might we infuse character and values in our communities?
How might we provide employers and institutions of higher learning with employees and students who do not need thousands of dollars
worth of remedial education?
How might we prepare students for the work place and help them to make good career choices?
How might we remove the fear and disdain that many members of the oldest and youngest generation feel towards one another?
How might we give the unemployed and those now employed in low-skill jobs more opportunities to advance in the work place?

Questions To Answer After
Completing The Required Reading
(found at

SUBJECT: The role of personal responsibility in improving the quality of life in our communities

Our society has been concentrating on social problems in large inner cities. Although progress has been made, there is still
much to do. However, there are nearly 20,000 communities across the nation, the majority having populations under 50,000.
Included in this majority are Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Moses Lake,
Washington; Springfield, Oregon and Bethel, Alaskacommunities where the most publicized school shootings have taken place.
In addition a number of individuals coming from middle class, even affluent backgrounds, have recently turned guns on people
they don't even know.

Why? What's happening in our communities? What's missing?

Q1- How does society invest in marriage in the USA and in Manus?

Q2- Interview 10 married people. (No names.) State the length and number of each one's marriages and a line or two of advice from each on how
to maintain a long, happy relationship.

Q3- According to Richard Eckersley, what should our collective goal be?

Q4- Write a worthy goal for your local community.

Q5- Comment on the excerpts from "Tomorrow's Child."

Q6- How does the fact the USA is a democracy make lawyers particularly helpful, according to Kathleen Sullivan? How does our diversity,
wealth and size make lawyers particularly helpful?

Q7- Ms. Sullivan claims bad practices are changed either by regulations or punitive damages. Which do you prefer and why? Can you think of
an alternative?

Q8- Briefly describe three ways society would benefit from the coming retirement of baby boomers, according to the required reading.

Q9- Evaluate the likelihood of President Clinton's anti-poverty program making a real impact. Give at least three reason to back up your

Q10- Name three things Truett Cathy and Tom Lewis have in common.