CONTEST – $2,500 award

The First Freedom Center announces the 19th annual First Freedom Student Competition. This national essay and video contest offers 9th – 12th grade students an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the First Amendment and the history and implementation of religious freedom and freedom of conscience in American democracy and the world today.

This year, students will select a person and/or group in their community, state or region, whose present or historic rights to the free exercise of belief are accommodated or, on the other hand, challenged by the public schools. They will then research and analyze how this relates to the broader narrative of First Amendment law and the right to freedom of religion, conscience or belief in the United States. Students will research history, current events, and the impact of the First Amendment in order to make their assessment. For the complete topic, essay and video guidelines, registration, classroom poster, student flyer and other details, visit, and then click on the red First Freedom Student Competition button (center column).

Students must register online on or before Monday, November 14, 2011, and the postmark deadline for mailing the essay or video with its accompanying entry materials is Saturday, November 26, 2011. Winners will be announced on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, April 13, 2012.

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