The letter they sent to me explains it all:
As you know, UNICEF is guided in its work by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Below is an opportunity from a friend of UNICEF. The campaign to ratify the CRC in the US has developed a youth essay contest, with cash prizes.
Youth Essay Contest
The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) invites youth throughout the U.S. to participate in its first nationwide Essay Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Campaign's Youth Outreach Committee and will run for the entire month of September. Additional information on the contest is contained in the CRC Essay Contest Guidelines. Essays must be typed directly into the CRC Essay Contest Application and submitted, as an email attachment, to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1, 2007.
Essay Contest Highlights
Purpose: The purpose of the contest isto raise awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child among youth, to engage youth in thoughtful reflection on the possible benefits of U.S. Ratification of the CRC, and to provide youth with the opportunity to express and share their thoughts on the CRC and possible benefits of U.S. ratification.
Eligibility: The contest is open to the following:
Category 1: Middle school students (Grades 6-8)
Category 2: High school students (Grades 9-12)
Three winners will be selected from each category.
First Place: $250
Second Place: $150
Third Place: $100
The top six winners will also receive a Certificate of Achievement signed by the Chair of the Campaign and have copies of their winning essays distributed during the November 16, 2007 CRC Nationwide Briefing Days (see Campaign Events for more details).
Along with the top six winning essays, another 14 essays (seven from each age category) will be selected to be incorporated into a CRC Youth Essay Booklet. This booklet of 20 essays will be available for download from the Campaignâ€™s Web Site.
Essay Topic: Applicants are asked to answer one of the following questions:
How could U.S. ratification of the CRC benefit children in the U.S.?
How would U.S. ratification of the CRC impact the global community?
Essays are to be no longer than 500 words and must cite at least three reference sources.
For more information, please visit UNICEF Student Essay Contest.
Thank you for your support and all you do to help UNICEF save kids' lives!
Copyright © 2007 U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016.
All rights reserved.
I hope that middle school and high school teachers will consider this opportunity for their students. It would take work--research, thinking, writing--but it could also be enriching and possibly fun.