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January 31, 2016

For More Information Contact:

Karelyn Farrand – 4-H Youth Character Education Field Specialist

SDSU Extension Regional Center

13 2nd Avenue SE

Aberdeen, SD 57401

Telephone: (605) 626-2870

Fax: (605) 626-2874


Contest Promotes

The Quotes to Live By Essay Contest promotes reading, reflection, critical thinking and composition skills as youth write about the importance of having good character.

Who May Participate

All South Dakota Schools/Home Schools/Individual 4-H members are eligible to participate. Schools must judge their entries locally, and may send five winning entries in each class section/per grade/per school to South Dakota 4-H Example: If one teacher has 3 different sections of 7th graders, 5 essays can be sent from each section, total of 15 entries.

Statewide Winning Essays

Five winning essays will be selected in each grade statewide. Cash prizes and awards will be given to the winners in each grade level.

What to Base Essays On

Essays must be based on the Quotes to Live By – Wise and Enduring Truths Maxims relating to character education, pages 5-19 of the Quotes to Live By Maxims & Educational Guide packet located at

Essay Contest Rules

Up to five essays per class/per grade/per school can be submitted in grades 4, 7, & 9. If forms are not filled out in their entirety entries will be disqualified. Parent/Guardian signature is required.

Home School & Individual 4-H Entries – To be fair to students who have participated in local contests through

their schools or local organized contests, home school & individual 4-H entries will be judged in a preliminary round at the State 4-H Office. Following the preliminary round entries will be sent on to the state judging competition based on the following format:

1-5 entries – 1 State Entry 16-20 entries – 4 State Entries 6-10 entries – 2 State Entries 21-25 entries – 5 State Entries 11-15 entries – 3 State Entries

• 4-H members must go through their local contest (if available) to participate in the South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay Contest.

Each essay must include a completed & signed South Dakota Contest Form. Essays must be based on one of the Quotes to Live By – Wise and Enduring Truths, pages 5-19 of the Quotes to Live By Educational Materials packet located at

• Essays must be typed and double spaced.

• Maximum length of essay is as follows: 500 words for 4th grade; 1000 words for 7th & 9th grades

Deadline for postmarking submissions to the South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay Contest is January 31, 2016.

Each School/Home School/Individual 4-H member must complete a Contest Submission Cover Sheet form for each class in each grade level of essay submission.

Results will be sent to the Teacher listed on the Entry form in April.

Best of luck to your students, The South Dakota 4-H Team

Send essay submissions to:

SD 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay Contest Karelyn Farrand

Quotes to Live By Essay Contest


Quotes to Live By Essay Contest



• The South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay Contest will award and recognize the top five (5) individuals, in each grade level. Prizes will only be awarded to those essays that are ranked as Excellent.

The following monetary amount will be awarded: 1st Place – $200

2nd Place – $150 3rd Place – $100 4th Place – $75 5th Place – $50

• Teachers of the 1st Place winners in each division will receive a $100 gift certificate to use at the following sites.

• Teacher Character Resource Certificates must be redeemed by May 31st of the contest year.


South Dakota 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay

Contest Entry Form 2016

4 - H Y O U T H D E V E L O P M E N T

ESSAYIST: Please complete the following form and staple it on top of your essay. Incomplete information may disqualify your essay from the contest.

NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ AGE: ________________________ SCHOOL: _______________________________________________________________________ HOME ADDRESS ______________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: ______________________________________ STATE: ______________________________ ZIP: _______________________ PARENT PHONE: ( _____________ ) _______________________________________

PARENT E-MAIL ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________________________________________ TEACHER: ____________________________________________________________ GRADE: _______________________________ TEACHER’S E-MAIL ADDRESS: _________________________________________________________________________________ Quote To Live By Wise and Enduring Truth MAXIM #: ______________________________________________________________ ESSAY TITLE: __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you previously won this contest? (Please circle one.) YES NO

If so, when and what was your topic? ___________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ By signing this form, you (and your parent or legal guardian, if you are under 18) give the South Dakota 4-H Quotes

to Live By essay contest committee permission to use your name, essay, and likeness at their discretion in print and

electronic media to publicize and promote the contest.

Signature(s): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Essayist __________________________________________________________________ Date: _______________________________ Parent or Guardian ________________________________________________________ Date: _______________________________ If you prefer to remain anonymous, check below:


South Dakota 4-H

Quotes to Live By Essay Contest

Submission Cover Sheet, 2016

4 - H Y O U T H D E V E L O P M E N T


• Complete one form for each class/per grade level of essay submission. Please write clearly. • In addition, each individual essay must have a signed Contest Entry Form, see attached. • All submissions must be postmarked by January 31, 2016.

• Up to five essays per class/per grade/per school may be submitted. • Submitted essays are not returnable.

• The South Dakota 4-H office may reproduce submitted essays, in part or in full, on iGrow and/or in printed materials.

• Maximum length, for 4th grade essays, is 500 words; for 7th & 9th grade essays, is 1,000 words. • Essays must be typed and double spaced.

CONTACT INFORMATION – We will use this to notify you of results and to send recognition certificates.

NAME (teacher or other adult): ____________________________________________________ DATE: _________________________

TITLE: _____________________________________________________ SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION: _________________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ SCHOOL DISTRICT: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ STREET ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY: _______________________________________ STATE: ______________________________ ZIP: _______________________ PHONE: ___________________________________________________ E-MAIL: ___________________________________________

STUDENT ESSAYISTS: List up to five essayists for each class per grade level on this sheet. Attach additional copies

of this form if you are submitting essays from more than one grade level or class. Individual Entry: Yes No Grade Level: ___________

Total # Students in Grade Section ____________ # of Those Students Participating in QTLB __________

(How many students are in this class?) (How many of those wrote an essay, whether it moved on or not?)

NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

TEACHERS: How has participation in the QTLB Contest impacted your students? Please give specific examples. (Use


Judging Criteria

South Dakota 4-H

Quotes to Live By Essay Contest

4 - H Y O U T H D E V E L O P M E N T

Thank you for agreeing to judge the Quotes to Live By essay contest. You will help determine the prizewinners. Your cooperation, support, and impartiality are essential.


Please use the following criteria when judging an essay:

1. Compelling Content - the most important criterion

• Did the essay make you think or feel something differently or more deeply than before? Did it move you? • Does it draw on a clearly presented maxim?

• Does it discuss at least one discernible “foundation” or value?

• Would the world be a better place if everyone lived up to the value or values presented? • Did you learn something compelling about the student author?

• Is the essay positive and life affirming? • Does it have universal appeal?

2. Presentation - important

• Is the essay easy to read? • Is it clearly written?

• Were you able to tell exactly what the student author was trying to share? • Do the ideas and paragraphs flow smoothly?

3. Grammar and Spelling - the least important

• Unless there are many glaring mistakes that suggest a sloppy and hurried essay, grammar and spelling are not very important in this contest. The judge should nevertheless determine to what extent poor grammar and spelling may distract a reader from comprehending the essay.


Judge’s Review Form

4 - H Y O U T H D E V E L O P M E N T

Essay Number __________________________________________________________________ Grade ________________________ Essay Title _____________________________________________________________________ Total Points ___________________ Please assign points to each essay in the following categories. (Please do not use “partial points.”) Then add them up below and write the final sum in the Total Points Space at the top.

Compelling Content Scale 1 to 10 pts.

Is moving and thought provoking Directly relates to one maxim chosen

Clearly illustrates a relationship to a “foundation” or “value” Is positive and life-affirming

Has universal appeal

Demonstrates that living up to the value(s) would make the world better Offers a compelling insight into the student author

Compelling Content Total Points

Presentation Scale 1 to 5 pts.

Is clearly written (grammar and spelling do not impede message) Is easy to read

Clearly conveys what the author intended to share Has ideas and paragraphs that flow smoothly Presentation Total Points





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