Tioga County Women in History 2017 Student Writing Contest

The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s’ suffrage in New York State, three years before the passage of the 19th Amendment. This presents a wonderful opportunity for Tioga County to highlight women’s history in our region.

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New York State, the Tioga Women’s Suffrage Committee is holding a Student Writing Contest for Tioga County. It is the goal of this committee to highlight Tioga County people and events from the Suffrage Movement and to connect students with the local history of the Suffrage Movement.

Tioga County students in grades six through 12 are invited to honor outstanding women in Tioga County history by participating in the Tioga County Women in History student writing contest. Two winning essays will be chosen, one from students in grades six through eight, and one from students in grades nine through12.

New York State is home to the first-ever Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848, and organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sixty-nine years later, on Nov. 6, 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote. Then in 1920, the United States ratified the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, granting all women the right to vote.

Women’s Suffrage was an effort that changed the lives and roles of women throughout New York State. Their struggle for the right to vote here in New York State lasted 69 years and as a result the women of today enjoy the same freedom as men to vote in any election they choose. 

Tioga County played a part in the Suffrage Movement and the Tioga Women’s Suffrage Committee will honor this historic anniversary and the people who contributed to this courageous effort.

Students may approach this however they would like as long as it pertains to the history of the Women’s Suffrage in Tioga County up to 1917. Pretend you are a student in 1917 and your mother goes to vote for the first time or you are a woman in 1917 and voting for the first time. How would you feel? What questions would you ask your mother or yourself?

For more historic background, please see the Tioga County Historian website at www.tiogacountyny.com/departments/historian/.

Submit your 400-word essay by May 26, 2017 for a chance to win a prize. Entries must be submitted by mail or online. Each entrant must be a sixth through twelfth grade student at a public or private school in Tioga County. Homeschoolers may also apply.

There will be two winning essays: one from students in grades six through eight, and one from students in grades nine through 12. All entries must be original works that have not been published or submitted for publication anywhere else. The entry should not exceed 400 words.

Entries become the property of Tioga County and will not be returned. Tioga County reserves the right to use the winners’ names and entries for promotional purposes in all forms of media without notice, review, approval, or compensation, except where prohibited by law.

The winners will be notified by June 16, and the winning essays will be posted to the Tioga County website on June 19. An award ceremony is planned for Aug. 19 in Owego. Winning students will either read their essay or have their essay read at the ceremony, and they will also receive a prize. 

The judging criteria will be based on content (reflection of careful and thorough thought), focus (main idea clearly articulated), support (relevant, quality details about important thoughts and concepts), style (essay flows well and shows good word choice and structure), and mechanics (correct use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation).

You can submit your essay by mail to Tioga County Tourism, 2017 Student Writing Contest, 80 North Ave., Owego, N.Y. 13827 or email the essay to info@experiencetioga.com with “2017 Student Writing Contest” in the subject line.

For more information, you can call Ellen Pratt at (607) 687-8274 or email to pratte@co.tioga.ny.us.

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