Brooks to Host Essay Contest for 5th and 6th Graders in Honor of our National Anthem

HARRISBURG (March 4, 2022) As the 91st anniversary of the “Star-Spangled Banner’s” adoption as our National Anthem is celebrated on March 3, Sen. Michele Brooks invites fifth and sixth grade students in her Senatorial District to enter an essay contest on the significance of these stirring lyrics.

To enter, fifth and sixth grade students in Mercer, Crawford, southern Erie and western Warren Counties who attend schools that enroll residents of the 50th District are asked to write an original essay of no more than 400 words on, “What does ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ mean to me, our community, and our nation?”

The objective is for students to craft a creative writing paper and not a research paper. Content must be original and may only contain copyrighted content if appropriately cited. Students may submit their essay online no later than Monday, March 21, 2022, to

Cash awards will be given to three students in each award category, for a total of 12 awards, made possible through the generosity of Acutec Precision Aerospace, Inc., Channellock, Joy Baking Group, Mercer County State Bank, and Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative Association. 

In addition to the monetary prizes, Anderson Coach and Travel will give first place winners three free seats, and other winners will receive two free seats, for a round-trip deluxe coach tour to the Duquesne Incline, Carnegie Science Center, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. 

The winning students and school districts will be announced on Friday, April 1, 2022.

“I believe that understanding our children’s thoughts about the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and what it means to them are very important and have the power to enlighten, educate, and inspire us all,” Brooks said.

Entries will be judged on content, the effectiveness of the message, and compliance with directions. An independent panel of judges will review the essays and will not include Pennsylvania Senators.

“I hope everyone will encourage the young writers, musicians, historians and thinkers among us to enter this contest and reflect upon the enduring power of our National Anthem,” Brooks said. “I want to thank our students, teachers, administrators, judges, sponsors, and parents in advance for helping to make this contest possible.”           

CONTACT: Diane McNaughton             (717) 787-1322

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