The Citizenship Challenge – Philadelphia: Our Flagship Essay Event

The 2019 PECO Philadelphia Citizenship Challenge Question

“The Founding Fathers are considered to be brilliant in relation to the government they created. Which part of the Bill of Rights, do you think is the most important and continues to exert the greatest impact on Americans today?”

The Challenge was open to 4th and 5th grade classes enrolled in public, private, or parochial school, or home study program in the 5-county Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties).

Classroom teams are asked to write an essay that addresses their point of view on the assigned issue. Teams take one position and defend their argument in a concise written document of a minimum of 300 words. The contest is drawn from PA Civics standards relating to principles and documents of government; rights and responsibilities of citizens; and information on how government works.

From all entries submitted, ten finalists are selected and invited to make a final presentation of their essay at the National Constitution Center. All expenses are paid by The Rendell Center.

Annual Prizes

  • GRAND PRIZE (1) of $1,000: The first place school will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • RUNNER-UP PRIZES (3) of $500: Each of the three runner-up schools will receive a check to be used toward a program that promotes civics learning and engagement across the student body.
  • TOP ENTRIES: The top 10 finalist schools will receive classroom copies of the Literature-Based Mock Trial curriculum as well as a civics library for their school.

Finals were held on December 12, 2019 at the National Constitution Center.

St. Bernadette Student
Students act out their essay in a class skit
Students holding protest signs
PECO Logo

The 2019 PECO Philadelphia Citizenship Challenge Finalists

Ms. Christine Delesandro’s

5th Grade Class

Anne Frank Elementary

School District of Philadelphia

Ms. Linda Raitt’s

5th Grade Class

Buckingham Elementary

Central Bucks School District

Ms. Sarah Quinn’s

4th Grade Class

Copper Beech Elementary

Abington School District

Ms. Rachael Pinsley’s

5th Grade Class

Glenwood Elementary

Rose Tree Media School District

Female student with microphone

Ms. Mindy Civan
&
Mr. Sean Burg’s

5th Grade Class

Perelman Jewish Day School

Stern Center

Ms. Shealyn Miles

5th Grade Class

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Drexel Hill

elementary school students' presentation on term limits

Ms. Samantha Barbato’s

5th Grade Class

Ithan Elementary

Radnor Township School District

Ms. Maureen Kroener’s

5th Grade Class

Lower Gwynedd Elementary

Wissahickon School District

Ms. Ann Friedlander’s

5th Grade Class

Merion Elementary

Lower Merion School District

Mr. Todd Serpico’s

5th Grade Class

Radnor Elementary

Radnor Township School District