Deadline: Postmarked by April 24, 2009



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2009 Poster and Essay

Contest Information, Rules and Awards




Deadline: Postmarked by April 24, 2009


Contest Information


Participation in the Poster and Essay Contest is determined by the entrant’s grade. Students may participate

according to the following levels:


Grades K-2: Official Vermont Symbols Poster Contest (state flag, state seal, state bird, etc.)
Grades 3-5: Vermont History Poster Contest. Please make sure the artwork relates specifically to Vermont history.
Grades 6-8: Vermont voters get to adopt or reject a constitutional amendment once it has been passed by the Vermont legislature in two successive legislative sessions. Our constitution does not allow citizens to propose an amendment directly to the voters. Sect. 72 reads (in part): “At the biennial session of the General Assembly of this State which convenes in A.D. 1975, and at the biennial session convening every fourth year thereafter, the Senate by a vote of two-thirds of its members, may propose amendments to this Constitution, with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the House of Representatives with the amendment as proposed by the Senate.” Should it be easier for Vermont citizens to propose constitutional amendments? Please explain your answer in detail.

*Please note – new this year! Grade 6-8 entries may be submitted in traditional essay format or the entrant can submit either a political cartoon or full-page, standard news paper-size political ad to illustrate her/his answer.



Grades 9-12: Vermont has one of the most difficult Constitutions to amend and as a result, we have one of the least amended constitutions in the country. Sect. 72 reads (in part): “At the biennial session of the General Assembly of this State which convenes in A.D. 1975, and at the biennial session convening every fourth year thereafter, the Senate by a vote of two-thirds of its members, may propose amendments to this Constitution, with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the House of Representatives with the amendment as proposed by the Senate.”  Is this a good thing or should it be easier to amend our Constitution?

*Please note – new this year! High school entries may be submitted in traditional essay format, or may be submitted in video essay format by emailing our office the link to the entrant’s YouTube posted video entry. (In other words, create a YouTube video that explains your views on amending the Vermont constitution.)

Contest Rules


  • Posters may not exceed 15" x 24" in size. They should be sent in secure, sturdy packages that can be reused for returning after the contest is over. Tubes are not recommended, especially for posters.

  • All essays may not exceed three double spaced typed 8½" x 11" pages or four hand written pages.
    (Please e-mail essay entries if possible, and be sure to include name, grade, teacher, and school.)

  • If submitting a video essay, the video should be between 2 - 3 minutes in length.

  • Each poster or essay must be clearly labeled with the student's name, grade, teacher and school.

All essays and posters will be judged on the following criteria:



  • Originality

  • Dedication to contest theme

  • Knowledge of topic

  • General aesthetic quality, including but not limited to design composition, materials used, color, etc.

Return of essays and posters cannot be guaranteed. If you would like an entry returned please be sure that the registration form and each submission is clearly marked with contact info. The deadline for entries is April 24, 2009.


Contest Awards
A $100 prize will be awarded to the first place winners’ classrooms for the purchase of materials, or to fund field trips, related to civics education or the study of Vermont. In the event that a First Place Winner is a Home Schooled student, a $100 donation will be awarded to the public library of the student’s choice.
First place winners, their class, and family, as well as any honorable mention recipients and their families, will be invited as guests of the Secretary of State for a day in Montpelier. They will tour the State House, visit the Vermont Historical Society Museum, and have a rare viewing of the Vermont Constitution, which is kept in the Archives at the Secretary of State's office. This is a particular honor since the Vermont Constitution is removed from its special vault on very few occasions.
All entry submissions must be postmarked by April 24, 2009, and sent to:

2009 Poster and Essay Contest


Office of the Secretary of State Redstone Building
26 Terrace Street, Drawer 9
Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1101

We encourage you to email essay entries to mshea@sec.state.vt.us


Please call Missy Shea with any questions at 802-828-1296.










Student/Class Name/Grade:_________________________________________________
* If registering more than one student see note below


School Name:_______________________________________________________


School Mailing Address:_______________________________________________


Contact Person:_____________________________________________________


Telephone Number: __________________________________________________


Email:_____________________________________________________________

Please write in the number of entries being submitted to the contest category. Please use a separate entry sheet for each different category.


Grades K-2 Official Vermont Symbols Poster Contest - # of entries: _______________
Grades 3-5 Vermont History Poster Contest - # of entries: _______________
Grades 6-8 Statewide Initiative for Amendments Essay Contest - # of entries: _______________
Grades 9-12 Constitutional Amendment Essay Contest - # of entries: _______________
*Please Note: Poster or essay entries for an entire class may be submitted with one registration form. Please include a list of ALL participating students on a separate sheet. Please be sure that each individual entry is clearly labeled on the backside with ALL of the information requested above. (Some teachers created labels for their student’s submissions. We have found this to be an efficient and accurate method.)
Please email writing entries to mshea@sec.state.vt.us

If possible, would you like your non-winning posters returned to you? Yes / No


Entry forms and submissions must be postmarked by April 24, 2009 to:
2009 Poster and Essay Contest
Office of the Secretary of State-Redstone Building
26 Terrace Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1101

Please call Missy Shea with any questions at 802-828-1296.



The 2009 Poster and Essay Contest is sponsored by the Secretary of State's Office.

For more information please visit our website at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/kids/




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