IN PHOTO: Mayor John Gayle encourages 6th graders at JL Newbern Middle School to enter the “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” Essay Contest, during his Jan. 28 visit. The deadline for the contest, sponsored by the new Valdosta Youth Council, is Friday, March 4.
Local sixth grade students may dream about what it would be like to be the top elected official of the city by participating in the “If I Were Mayor, I Would...” essay contest, sponsored by the Valdosta Youth Council. The contest gives 6th grade students—from public, private or homeschools—a chance to creatively use grade-specific language arts skills and civics knowledge to express, in 350 words or less, how they would make a difference if they held the position of Mayor.
According to contest rules, every essay must begin with the sentence, “If I were mayor, I would,” and the essay may not be longer than 350 words. The submitted essay may be either typed or neatly handwritten, and it must clearly display the student’s name, teacher and school clearly at the top of the page(s).
1st, 2nd and 3rd place local winners will be selected and recognized by Valdosta Mayor John Gayle at the April 21 City Council meeting. All local essays entered in the contest will be displayed at Valdosta City Hall during Georgia Cities Week, April 18-22, 2016.
“Kids have good ideas and their voices can be important in coming up with real ideas to tackle these problems,” said Abbi Long of Valdosta Middle School, in her “If I Were Mayor” essay that she wrote while in 6th grade. Her words of wisdom and ideas presented in her essay won her first place in the 2015 contest. Now in 7th grade, Long serves as the president of the inaugural Valdosta Youth Council, who is sponsoring the contest this year.
“Kids are the future leaders of this city,” said Long.
The entries may be mailed or hand-delivered by Friday, March 4, 2016 to: Public Information Office, Attention: Essay Contest, 300 N. Lee Street, #102, Valdosta, GA 31601. Students and teachers may also contact Valdosta Youth Council Advisory Committee Member Lynn Orenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule the pickup of essays, or visit the Valdosta Youth Council Facebook page for additional information.