TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The coronavirus is changing much of the way on how we go about our daily lives. Now, the pandemic is affecting school operations, and with the start date of the upcoming academic year approaching, parents, students, and staff must prepare for expected changes.
As an initiative to raise more awareness for children heading back to school, Crush The Curve Idaho is holding an essay contest for students K-12. The contest aims to also give students a greater understanding on the pandemic and how the spread can be prevented.
"Knowledge is power. Let's have them research on their own, at grade-level specific topics, and have them really dig in," says Tina Upson, Executive Director of Crush the Curve.
There are different topics for each group of students. Grades four through twelve will have to use credible sources in their entry. The winners of the contest and a teacher of their choosing receive a cash prize.
Topics and entry types include:
- Grades K-3 can write an essay, song, or poem about hand-washing with the reward being $100
- Grades 4-6 will write about the spread of COVID-19 and receive $250
- Grades 7-9 must discuss COVID-19 testing and the prize is $500
- Grades 10-11 will focus on the lifespan of COVID-19 with a $750 prize
- Grade 12 will write about battling a pandemic, highlighting a country or territory that successfully combated an infectious disease. The winner will receive $1000
Crush The Curve is contemplating other ways to reach students to continue educating them on the pandemic.
"With the virtual environment, and with them living on their technology devices, why can't we meet them where they're at and still engage them in a meaningful way," said Upson.
The organization has already received hundreds of essay submissions and are anticipating more this week. Submissions must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 31. The winner will be announced on August 14.