ESSAY OR SPEECH CONTESTS

 Information provided by National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)
                  Stewardship & Education

   Section 1: Ideas & websites from other conservation districts
                  a. send additional ideas or websites to:
   Section 2: Essay template
   Section 3: Speech Contest brochure sample

   Section 1

Speech and essay contests are held locally and at the state level in some states.
There currently is not a national contest for speech and essay through NACD.
We supply information through the Stewardship program that provide resource
information for these 2 contests.

Examples of contests held in other states are:

Essay contest examples at the websites below:

See Essay Template – Page 2

Speech and Essay contests often use the Stewardship theme. Resource
information can be found at:

NACD and the auxiliary sponsor a poster contest using the NACD Stewardship
theme. Many states participate and districts hold contests at a county or area
level and then send them on to a state contest where the state winners are then
eligible for the national contest. Contest information can be found at the above

Speech and or public speaking contest example at websites below:

See Sample Brochure – Page 4

October 2007   1 of 5        NACD Stewardship and Education
Section 2

ESSAY CONTEST TEMPLATE (modify to fit your local contest)

Essay Topic for ____________ County Conservation District

TOPIC: ___________________________________________

How do I submit my essay and when are they due?

All essays will need to be turned into _______________ by _______________.

They will need to be mailed on or before ______________________ to:

(Not responsible for essays lost in the mail)


How many times may I enter the contest?

We will accept one (1) entry per student in grades _____________ who attend a
_____________County School or is home schooled.
                                       Information on each essay:
How long should entries be?            Student name:
Grade __________ words                 School:
Grade __________ words                 Teacher:
                                       Parent permission signature & date signed for the
What are the prizes?                   ____________ Conservation district to use the
                                       information in the essay.

Where do I start?


How will essays be used?

The ______________________ County Conservation District will use the information
from the essays for promotion, website, publications; or ads to help promote conservation
across our county, state and nation.

Judging Criteria



October 2007    2 of 5          NACD Stewardship and Education

   1) Talk with the principal before announcing contest for permission and or support.
   2) Talk with teachers at each grade level to assist in promotion
   3) If you are going to collect the essays from the teachers, provide a large envelope
      to collect the essays in. One that opens and closes easily and is brightly colored
      so it does not get lost on their desk.
   4) News releases for local paper
   5) Post a library
   6) See if local newspaper will co-sponsor and help judge or local service

If you will publish any of the essays and the students are under 18-

Require parent signature – or check if it is a school project –

They may have one on file from registration.

Students under 18 must have their parent’s permission and signature attached to the

I give my permission for ________________________________________ (PRINT
NAME) to enter the _________________________ Conservation District Essay Contest.

I understand that the district may use all or part of the essay to promote conservation at
the county, state and national level.

Parent or Guardian of above student.

_________________________________________________- signature

_________________________________________________-printed name

_____________________ date

October 2007    3 of 5           NACD Stewardship and Education
                          Section 3

Contest Theme
                                                                                  Potential sources for information:
Our drinking water: Where does it come
from, and where does it go?                                                    Environmental Protection Agency                                  Dubois County
Water. It is found in great abundance in                                      (Put drinking water into the search)
                                                                                                                                                Soil and Water Conser vation District
Indiana, but other parts of the United                            
States and the world view this resource
a s a s c a r c e a nd p re c i o u s c o m m o d i t y .                                      Public Speaking Contest
Ou r v e r y l i v e s de p e n d o n a c l e a n , r e l i -                        Indiana Department of Health
                                                                                                                                                  Monday, January 22, 2007
a b l e s o u rc e o f w a t e r . I ro n i c a l l y , o u r
w a y o f l i f e c a n da m a g e t h i s v e r y r e -                                                                                                 6:00 PM
source that sustains us. Our good                                                    American Water Works
h e a l t h d e p e n ds o n i t . W a r s c o u l d b e                 
fought over it. And terrorists could
target it. A priceless resource, yet so                                                Public Broadcasting System
t h o u g h t l e s s l y s q u a n de re d .

                                            T o e nc o ura g e
                                            high school                 
                                            s t u d e nt s t o
                                            become more
                                            aware of the                                Dubois County Health Department
                                                                                                (812) 481-7050
                                            n a tu r a l e n v i -
r o n m e n t a r o u n d t he m , e s p e c i a l l y t h e s o i l                    City of Jasper Water Filtration Plant
                                                                                                   (812) 482-2010
and water resources, the Dubois County
S o i l an d Wa t e r Co ns e rv at i o n D i s tri c t i s                             City of Jasper Wastewater Facilities
s p o n s o r i n g a p u b l i c s p e ak i n g c o n t e s t .                                   (812) 482-3277

                                                                          Keep thinking and researching other sources!
C o n t e s t an t s w i l l d e v e l o p a n d p re s e n t a
s p e e c h b e t w e e n 5 t o 8 m i n ut e s i n l e n gt h
f e a t u r i ng t h e c o n t e s t t h e m e . L o c a l p r o -
fessionals will judge the speeches, and
the winning contestant will be invited to
present their speech at the Soil and Wa-
ter Conservation Districts Annual Meet-
ing on January 30, 2007.

                                                                                                                                                       Phone: (812) 482-1171 Ext. 3

                      page 4 of 5
Contest Rules                                                                                             Contest Sponsors
•    All Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and          •    The use of notes is permitted, but the con-     Dubois County Soil and Water
Seniors enrolled in Dubois County High Schools       testant should know the speech well enough that
are eligible to participate. Home schooled
                                                                                                          Conservation District
                                                     the use of notes is kept to a minimum.
students in these grade levels are also eligible.
• Contestants should register with the               •    Audio visual/transparencies will be permitted   Local civic organizations will sponsor
SWCD office by phone or e-mail by 4 PM               to enhance the presentation, but cannot take the     savings bonds: first prize, $200 Savings
Friday, January 12 to be eligible to compete.        place of the actual speech.                          Bond; second prize, $100 Savings Bond.
•     Speeches                                       •    The contestants will be judged on Content
should be no
                                                                                                          Consultant: Rock Emmert, Educator,
                                                     and Organization, 50 points, and Presentation, 50
less than 5                                          points. Content and Organization includes ap-        Forest Park High School
minutes in                                           propriateness of topic, content originality, accu-
length, and no                                       racy, and sequence of thought. Presentation in-
longer than 8                                        cludes appearance, vocal quality, poise, expres-
minutes.                                             siveness, persuasiveness, originality, and overall
                                                     impact. Points will be deduced for each 10 sec-
•     The con-                                       ond over 8 minutes, or under 5 minutes.
test theme of
“Our Drinking                                        •    After all contestants have presented their
Water: Where                                         speech, the judges will be escorted from the
Does it Come                                         room to tally their scorecards. The judges will
From and                                             select a first and second place winner only.
Where Does it
Go” should be
                                                     •   The Judges decision will be final.
the topic of the
                                                     •    First and Second place winners will be
                                                     awarded savings bonds. All participants receive
•    Contestants will be randomly scheduled for
their presentation time, and assigned a number.      participation recognition.
They will be introduced by their number rather
than by name.
                                                     •    First place speech contestant will be invited
                                                     to present their speech at the SWCD annual
                                                     meeting on January 30, 2007. Up to four comple-
•    Contestants will wait outside room prior        mentary meal tickets will be provided to the con-        DUBOIS COUNTY
to presenting their speech.                          testant and his or her family or guests.                 SOIL AND WATER
                                                                                                           CONSERVATION DISTRICT
•    Contestant will be escorted to place where      •    All contestants are free to discuss their
they will give their speech.                         presentations with the judges once the                 1486 Executive Blvd. Suite A; Jasper IN 47546
                                                     awards ceremony is complete. Score sheets
•    After speech is complete, contestant can        will be available one week after the contest                  Phone: (812) 482-1171 Ext. 3
have a seat in the audience and listen to the rest   to those contestants who request a copy.
of the speeches.

             page 5 of 5

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