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Teaching Hudson Valley Essay Contest Focuses On Places With Special Meaning

Teaching the Hudson Valley is holding an essay contest for students in the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
Teaching the Hudson Valley is holding an essay contest for students in the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Photo Credit:

HYDE PARK, N.Y. – Teaching the Hudson Valley (THV) invites children and teens from first to 12th grades to take part in an essay contest focused on places in the Hudson Valley that have special meaning for them.

Students who live and/or attend school in the 11-county Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area including Westchester, Ulster, Saratoga, Rockland, Rensselaer, Putnam, Orange, Greene, Dutchess, Columbia and Albany counties are eligible. Work should be submitted by Monday, Nov. 2 at midnight.

Students may choose one of three prompts spanning many genres from essays to public service announcements, letters to short stories, along with nature/history mashups. Students should write about places they know well and would like to share with classmates. Writers may include a photo, drawing, collage or other graphic clearly related to his/her writing, but no student will lose points for deciding to submit only written work.

All submissions will be considered for publication on THV’s blog. The classes of three students–one each from first through fourth grades, fifth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades will receive up to $900 to cover transportation and admission fees so they can share their place with classmates. A runner up in each group will receive a gift certificate from Oblong Books & Music.

Additional prizes include field experiences with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project. To be considered for prizes, places written about must be regularly open to the public; have cultural, historic or natural significance; and be owned or managed by a not-for-profit or government entity.

Readers will look for evocation of place, a lively style and use of conventions appropriate to each student's age and development. Submissions will be read by teachers, writers, site staff and representatives from the NYS DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program, and the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College.

Click here to download the submission form or for further information.

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