What is the meaning of integrity?
How do I demonstrate integrity in the way I relate to those who are different from me?
These are similar questions that students from the Delaware County area ask themselves each year as they prepare for our annual essay contest. Our goal in this contest is to encourage young people to gain an understanding of what integrity means and how it should be applied in their lives now and when they become adults.
Each year the contest receives a new theme and a panel of local business and civic leaders judge the essays according to research, original thought, content, grammar and presentation. Two winners will be selected from each division (Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9 -12) from each school, and then three top winners will be chosen in each division over all. Cash prizes will be awarded to the overall winners and the division winners. All entrants, however, receive a Certificate of Participation.
Hundreds of students, teachers, administrators and parents have been touched by the contest efforts. Several teachers exclaimed that this opportunity gives them a vehicle to communicate values and character lessons to their students. Along with the excitement of the contest, the Committee and community leaders have been encouraged by the efforts to get the word out among our area youth that honesty and ethics are important to consider and to be valued among adults in our community.