Feb 19 2019

Ohio Women's Suffrage Committee Essay Challenge Contest

The Ohio Women’s Suffrage Committee has developed an outline for counties to administer the Women’s Suffrage Essay Challenge. We hope it will create an interest in the voting process and children can express their feelings about women voting. It also will generate discussion about women voting and their accomplishments. It is close to 100 Years that women have had the right to vote, and we need to celebrate!

Each county could create their own Women’s Suffrage Essay Challenge. We have included a sample form along with instructions on the Essay Challenge. This overview and form which counties may use as it is, or they may create something that would work for their county, volunteers and time needed for this challenge. Each county and group of volunteers would know what will bring success to this project for their area. If you have contacts with public or private schools, girl scouts, reading groups, school government or civic teachers, or other groups that will be one key to success. There are members of the Women’s Suffrage Committee that are willing to come to your area to advise your project, if needed. We have found that prizes entice the children to enter. Prizes could be public recognition in local publications, public recognition with prominent elected officials or community leader, plaques, trophy, or monetary scholarship type achievement awards. The recognition of the award can be whatever you think would work best for your area. A local bank, or business may also be great sponsors of your Essay Challenge.​

You will be amazed at the wonderful submissions that you will receive. The creativity of the essays by the youth of your community will make this project very rewarding. This is a great way to get younger families involved with the 100th Anniversary, but also to introduce them to the political process in a positive way. Remember, Ohio was the 5th State to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 16, 1919. The United States final ratification was August 26, 1920! Good Luck and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women Having the Right to Vote!

Eligible participants must be students enrolled in the following Grades at the time of the contest. Division I (6th or 7th), Division II (8th or 9th ), Division Ill (10th, 11th or 12th ). Depending on your county, you may want to expand the age groups to younger children or have more or less age group divisions. Essay length is not to exceed 300 words. The main topic shall be the ” l OOth Anniversary Women’s Suffrage -Women’s Right to Vote”. Students may write on any subject that addresses the Topic. Example of subjects could include “How has the Women’s Right to Vote the last 100 years impacted America?” Or “My name is Susan 8. Anthony and the year is 1916. Here are reasons why I am fighting for women to be given the Right to Vote!”, or any other subject that supports the Topic of the 100 th Anniversary. These are just suggestions. There are historical suffrage markers throughout the state as well as many historical figures from around Ohio that would make for great subjects for an essay. Children can open their minds to write on any number of subjects which makes this so fun to see the minds of our youth come to life in these essays. Essay must be typed or legibly printed. Essay must be submitted for judging to the local County Women’s Suffrage Chairman Participants must be identified by name, grade, and school attending on the Essay. There is no fee to enter this Essay Challenge.


We suggest having prizes or recognitions which helps to increase participation. The County Women’s Suffrage Chairman will present awards to the winning children. You can give awards or recognition for the 1st, and 2nd in each Division, or select another means as prizes. Winners could also be recognized on social or in local media. It would be great to get local sponsors to award cash or scholarship prizes, if possible.

We suggest the Essay Challenge be started in the first quarter of 2020. Students will be in school and it will allow for time to get the word out and give students time to prepare Essays. We suggest accepting Essays for at least a two-month span(or as determined by your county). Some counties may want to have the Essay winners completed in time to recognize winners at the county Lincoln Dinner, or at other set events in your receptive counties. Posters could be put up in libraries, schools, recreation centers, grocery stores, or sent to schools, churches, community organizations and more. Essays should be submitted to the local County Women’s Suffrage Chairman, so you will want to designate a person who will receive the Essays and set a date for end of submissions. Depending on your committee, you will want to sort the Essays by the age/grade divisions that you set for your county. Then your committee can read and select the winners for your county. We have included a sample Essay Challenge Entry form, Instructions and Cover Sheet which you can use it as it is, or you can create something for your county. Once you have your winners, no later than 2020, you can submit your pt place winners to the State Women’s Suffrage Committee for consideration to be the statewide winner. The statewide winners will be recognized at an event most likely held in the State Capital city of Columbus. More details will come. To submit your 1st place winners that you wish to have the statewide committee review, you will need to submit the Essay and attach the Essay contest cover sheet for each winner.
Finally, HAVE FUN! Reading the essays of young people always inspire me. Children make us open our eyes and minds tc:i new ways to view issues. Sometimes they bring new life a moment in history that not only warms your heart, but also gives you hope that the future is unlimited for them. If you want to use the attached sample form, please do so. If you want to use the form, but modify age groups or other minor edits, please contact Billie at BJFZimmers@gmail.com (614-296-9350) who can email you a form to fit your needs. If you want to create something entirely on your own, please do what works for your county. The only thing we ask is that you need the parent or guardian of the child to sign somewhere on the form since the essays, children’s names and, if chosen as a winner, pictures may be used in the awards process of the Essay Challenge Contest.
Thank you!

Thank you!
Billie Fiore Zimmers
BJFZimmer s@gmail com

Sally Florkiewicz
sallysofchagrin@msn .com