Annual Essay Contest to Again Award $100,000 in Total Scholarships and Prizes
(October 29, 2012 – Cleveland, OH) What would you do to stop hatred and discrimination? In 2008, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage created a contest to encourage middle and high school students to focus attention on the corrosive effects of hatred, discrimination and intolerance while developing critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. Since that inaugural year, more than 6,500 students have submitted essays to Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out! Scholarships and prizes totaling more than $400,000 have been awarded to student essays on topics ranging from bullying and racism to sexual orientation and mental/physical challenges.
Now in its fifth year, Stop the Hate gets students thinking, writing and talking about what they’ve seen and heard, and taking responsibility for how they can help stop prejudice and discrimination. “At the Maltz Museum we are thrilled to give students across Northeast Ohio a voice to not only reflect on their experiences in their schools and communities but the opportunity to examine their responses to events and commit to a plan of action to affect real change.” says Jill Rembrandt, the newly appointed Director of Education and Programming at the Maltz Museum.
Stop the Hate asks students to describe an act of discrimination, reflect on their response and write a 500-word essay with a plan of action to affect change. Essays are scored on content, writing, originality and creativity, and integration of the theme of personal responsibility. Top-scoring entries advance to the finals.
High school juniors and seniors compete for three college scholarships of up to $50,000 as well as other prizes and educational resource materials for their schools. The ten scholarship finalists read their essays at a ceremony to be held on May 2, 2013, where winners will be selected. Students in grades 6-10 are eligible for cash prizes, field trips and educational resource materials.
Essays for 6th – 10th graders are due January 15, 2013. The deadline for 11th and 12th graders is February 12. Students are encouraged to submit their essays electronically through the official Stop the Hate website. Complete information, current guidelines and copies of all past winning essays are also available on the website.
Schools can arrange a Stop the Hate guided tour of the Museum designed to help them prepare students to write their essays, or dozens of other tours aligned with Ohio State Academic Content Standards. “The Maltz Museum provides the perfect background for students to consider the corrosiveness of hatred and recognize the responsibility we have to care for one another. We are proud of the work we are doing to engage young people throughout Northeast Ohio in this discussion” says Museum Executive Director Lynda A. Bender.