Guidelines for Sponsoring a Student Poster and Essay Contest
These guidelines are designed to engage elementary, middle and
high school students in commemorating the theme of 2004 NCVRW,
utilizing their writing and artistic talents. Crime is a problem
that detrimentally affects us all, yet too often our children and
youth are left out of the dialogue about how to address crime
and victimization. We seldom ask for their views about these
critical issues that affect our homes, schools, neighborhoods and
This contest will result in creative input from children and teenagers
about their perspectives on crime and victimization, and on our
shared values of individual and community safety, equality, and
justice for all. Crime in America has a significant impact on our
youth, as evidenced by statistics from the 2001 National Crime
- Youth between the ages of 12 and 19 experienced over 1,798,010
non-fatal violent victimizations, rates which are higher than
any other age group.
- There were an estimated 82,440 rapes and sexual assaults.
- Robberies were estimated at 187,020.
- There were an estimated 339,180 aggravated assaults and an
estimated 1,189,020 simple assaults.
- There were an estimated 56,040 thefts, i.e., pocket picking
and purse snatching.1
These Guidelines and Contest Overview which can be modified,
as needed include contest rules and suggested activities
that NCVRW Planning Committees can use to sponsor and promote a
Student Poster and Essay Contest.
Student Poster and Essay Contest Guidelines
The Contest can be co-sponsored by a communitys NCVRW Planning
Committee, which should include crime victims and survivors, community-
and system-based victim assistance programs, criminal and juvenile
justice agencies, and allied professionals (including schools).
Contest Co-sponsors can provide speakers for classrooms and student
body assemblies who can address the impact of crime and victimization,
and our shared values to address crime and assist its victims.
A one-page Contest Overview included in these Guidelines can
be utilized to explain the Contest to School Board members, school
principals, teachers, or others who will help implement the Contest
in local schools.
Theme of the Contest
The 2004 NCVRW theme Victims Rights: Americas
Values can help:
- Engage schools as partners
in victim and public awareness efforts.
- Increase awareness
among students about crime and victimization, and how we can all work
together to better ensure safety in our homes, schools and
neighborhoods, and help victims who need our support.
interest and awareness about the rights and needs of crime
the unique perspective of youth.
The Poster Contest is designed for students in grades 1 through
3. The Essay Contest is designed for students in grades 4 through
12. Children should write or draw from their perspectives what
they think, feel or know about crime and victimization. All entries
will be judged on expression of the contest theme, style, content
Posters should be submitted on white paper that is no larger
than 17" by 22". Suggestions for essay lengths include
|| ESSAY LENGTH
|Grades 4 to 5
||75 to 150 words
|Grades 6 to 7
||150 to 250 words
|Grades 8 to 9
||250 to 500 words
|Grades 10 to 12
||500 to 750 words
Contest Co-sponsors should create a simple Submission Form (in
paper format for distribution and in electronic format for posting
on web sites) that includes:
- Students Full Name
- Students Age
- Students Grade
- Name of Teacher
- Name of School
- Address of School
- Telephone Number of School
- Contest Deadline
The deadline for submitting all entries is Friday, March 19,
2004. All entries must be accompanied by the official Submission
Form (included in these Guidelines) which can be provided
to schools in paper or web-based formats. All entries
become the property of the Contest Co-sponsors and will not be
Contest Implementation: Ten Tips
1. Determine the best contact for Contest implementation, i.e.,
School Boards, principals, teachers, PTA, etc. Draft a letter that
explains the 2004 NCVRW Poster and Essay Contest and stresses its
educational value, and attach the enclosed Overview.
2. Post information about the Contest, including the Submission
Form, on your Co-sponsors web sites, and ask participating
schools to do the same.
3. Seek donations from local businesses and merchants for contest
prizes, i.e., cash prizes, merchandise, free fun activities (such
as bowling or movie tickets), and make sure that all contributions
are publicly recognized. Once prizes have been obtained, include
specific information in the announcement that is provided to students.
4. Provide a certificate of participation to all students who
submit entries, utilizing the sample certificate of appreciation included
in this Resource Guides Camera-ready Artwork section and
on the CD-ROM.
5. Solicit a panel of judges that includes victims and survivors,
victim service providers, justice professionals, civic leaders
and educators. Depending upon the number of entries, the Contest
Co-sponsors may want to screen submissions and select a pre-determined
number in both categories for the judges review.
6. Publicize the contest to local news media and invite them to
attend either the judging or awards presentation events.
7. Once winning entries have been selected, invite the students,
their families and teachers to attend an awards ceremony (that
can be held in conjunction with other NCVRW victim and public awareness
8. Prominently display all entries, or the winning entries (depending
upon available space), at NCVRW victim and public awareness events.
9. Be sure to follow-up with thank-you letters to anyone who provided
support or assistance in implementing the Student Poster and Essay
10. Consider utilizing portions of the essays or the poster artwork
in victim and public awareness activities throughout the year.
Criteria for Judging
Suggested criteria for judging on a scale of 100 include:
|| NUMBER OF POINTS
|Appropriate reflection of the 2004
|Writing or artwork style
|Writing or artwork content
|Creativity in writing or artwork
1 Bureau of Justice Statistics. (September 2002). Criminal
Victimization 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
|National Crime Victims' Rights
Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values
||April 1824, 2004