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CCAWV Essay Contest 4

We've extended the submission deadline to Monday, May 1st.

April is "National County Government Month" and the County Commissioners’ Association of West Virginia (CCAWV) hosts our annual essay contest for 8th grade students across West Virginia.

  • There will be monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Student Winners.
  • There will also be a monetary prize for the 1st Place Winner’s Teacher to be used for classroom activities. 
  • The 1st Place Student and Teacher will each receive $500; 2nd Place Student $300; and 3rd Place Student $200. We will also award $50 for five Honorable Mention Students. 

One of CCAWV’s goals is to increase information and public awareness about county government and the office of County Commissioner.  This goal of this initiative is to partner with West Virginia educators to encourage students to learn and write about their local county governing body, the County Commission. 

Student participants are asked to type a 500-word essay on the topic, "How does my county commission make life better for me?"  All entries must be emailed by 5:00 pm on the third Friday of April each year to qualify. For more information please contact Meagan James at or at 304-345-4639.  Winners will be announced by the first Monday of May each year.

How can I learn more about what my commission does?

  1. Take a class field trip to a county commission meeting.
  2. Watch a commission meeting online – many livestream their meetings. 
  3. Ask your county commissioners to come speak to your class. 

Find out what your county commission is working on in your county and encourage your students to write about it from the perspective of an 8th grader and why it matters to them. There are also a series of five informational videos here that details the roles and responsibilities of county commissioners. 


  1. The contest is open to all 8th grade students who are enrolled in a West Virginia public or private school.
  2. The contest deadline is 5 p.m on the third Friday of each April.
  3. Each essay is limited to a maximum of 500 words and a minimum of 400 words and must address the following question: “How does my county commission make life better for me?” The essay must address specifically the county commission of the county in which the student resides.
  4. Each student is limited to one entry.
  5. Each teacher must completely fill out the official application form.
  6. Please submit each entry individually.
  7. The winning students and his/her teachers will be invited to a County Commissioners meeting in their home county to receive their awards.
  8. Essays will be judged on the following criteria: Understanding of the role of county commission; grammar and spelling; clarity and organization of thought.
  9. By entering the contest, each student and teacher agrees to allow his/her name to be used in a news release announcing the contest winner in the event that their essay is selected as a winning essay. In addition, they agree to allow their photograph to be published in the CCAWV Newsletter and on the CCAWV Web site.

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