|Middle school students from Athens, Bath and Veazie emerged as winners in Maine Municipal Association’s (MMA) sixth annual statewide essay contest, which carried the theme: “If I Led My Community…”
Part of MMA’s Citizen Education program, the contest asked students to demonstrate how they would improve their hometowns and cities if they held positions of local leadership. Many essays were submitted from seventh-grade students across the state. Essays were judged based on: knowledge of municipal government; writing quality and clarity; and, originality.
The winners are: Emma Beauregard, of Damariscotta Montessori School (Ms. Beauregard lives in Bath); Olivia Messer, of Veazie Community School; and, Patricia Thody, of Athens Community School. Each student will receive a certificate and a $250 prize to be used for educational purposes. The awards will be bestowed by municipal officials in their hometowns.
Winning entries also will be published in the May issue of the Maine Townsman, MMA’s monthly publication, which is mailed to 4,400 municipal officials statewide and posted on the website www.memun.org.
MMA’s Citizen Education program aims to educate citizens of all ages about the importance, accessibility and effectiveness of municipal government. The essay contest, and high school curriculum developed in 2011 with Jobs for Maine’s Graduates, have the dual purpose of educating young people about local government and encouraging them to get involved as future elected or appointed officials, or as municipal employees.
The Maine Municipal Association: Founded in 1936, MMA is a voluntary, non-partisan, member-service organization to which 486 municipalities in Maine belong. It has a core belief that local government is a fundamental component of a democratic system of government. MMA’s services include advocacy, education and information, professional legal and personnel advisory services and self-funded group insurance programs.