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High School Essay Contest

2017-2018 Theme: "Community Gardens - A Solution to Blight, Crime & Hunger"
2018-2019 Theme: "The Impact of Bottled Water on the Environment and the Water Supply"

Caroline Oats (pictured with her parents) was a High School Senior in Athens when the Green Acres Garden Club sponsored her in the GCG High School Essay Contest. She has since graduated and can boast a prestigious resume of academic awards and extra-curricular activities. Caroline entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Fall of 2007. Caroline's essay, "Preserving Nature's Delicate Tapestry" took top honors at the National level after competing at Regional and State. Caroline received a $1,000 scholarship from NGC and $300 from GCG. Her essay was published in the National Gardener magazine.
The Garden Club of Georgia is very proud of our State Winners for Essays. Over the past years our State Winners have gone on to earn top honors in the Deep South Region and often times have placed first at the National level.

Let's start now to prepare for this next year's contest. It takes adult help for these students to effectively compete—not to write the essay of course, but to help entrants understand the NGC theme and complete their applications. Most entries received were from students who had been mentored by a garden club member who understood the rules and regulations. Find a relative, neighbor or friend and let your club, district and state shine in the High School youth awards!

Contests are open to high school students attending 9th through 12th grades. A single member garden club, group of member clubs, councils or districts, or a state garden club must sponsor the contest. All entries become the property of National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Length of essay should be between 600-700 words. The entry will be penalized if the essay does not conform to the required length. All words are to be counted. Students should write the essay so it is suitable to be published in the NGC publication, The National Gardener.

Scale of Points (total 100)

  1. Content (65)
    1. Knowledge of subject (25)
    2. Practicality of proposal (10)
    3. Originality (15)
    4. Subject matter well organized/clarity of presentation (15)
  2. Composition (25)
    1. Vocabulary (15)
    2. Conformance to length (10)
  3. Manuscript (10)
    1. Requirements (5)—wallet sized photograph, name, address, phone number, school attending, grade, list of activities, name of sponsoring club
    2. Neatness and legibility (5)—a plastic folder to keep manuscript neat

A State Certificate and a cash award of $300 may be awarded annually to the winner of the State High School Essay Contest. Second and third place entries will receive $150 and $75 respectively. The winning essay will be printed in the fall issue of Garden Gateways. The winner will then be sent to Deep South and that winner will be sent on to National.

A $1,000 National Garden Club Scholarship will be awarded to the National Winner. If the Winner is an underclassman, the $1,000 Scholarship will be held by NGC, Inc., without accrued interest, until such time that the student enters college. At that time, the money will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Officer of the college that the student will enter.

Entries are due December 1. Contest entries plus state award entry form must be sent to the Georgia GC High School Speech & Essay Chairman. Call or email her for more information:

Karen Hendrix
4008 London Lane
Tifton GA 31793

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