‘Celebrating Diversity’ Statehood Day essay contest now accepting submissions

The Indiana Center for the Book is hosting an essay competition to commemorate Indiana’s 204th Statehood Day. This year’s theme is “Celebrating a Diverse Indiana.” The Statehood Day Essay Contest takes place annually in the fall and is open to all Indiana fourth graders. The essays are judged by a panel of Indiana State Library staff and volunteer educators.

Essays should be well organized and reflective of the theme “Celebrating a Diverse Indiana.” Judges are looking forward to seeing students’ interpretation of the theme. Some ideas to help them could be: What is diversity? What does it mean to live in a diverse state? In what different ways can a state be diverse? In its people? Its plants? Its economy?

Winners of the essay contest will be honored on Friday, Dec. 11 in a virtual ceremony. Winners are expected to record their essays for the virtual ceremony.

Additionally, any Indiana fourth grade class – or student – is welcome to attend the Statehood Day virtual ceremony, regardless of whether or not they participate in the contest. Registration is required. Visit this link to register for the online virtual ceremony.

The first-place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $250, while the second, third and fourth-place winners receive CollegeChoice deposits of $150.

Essay Contest Rules

  • The competition is open to any Indiana fourth grade public, private or homeschooled student in the 2020-21 school year.
  • A panel of judges will choose the first, second, third, and fourth place winners.
    Essays must range from 100 to 300 words; handwritten or typed.
  • Essays must be submitted with an entry form.
  • Individual entries should use the 2020 Individual Entry Form.
  • Class sets should use the 2020 Group Entry Form. The following information should be included on each essay for class sets: student name, teacher name and school name.
  • All entries may be mailed or emailed.
  • Mailed entry forms can be sent to: Indiana Center for the Book Indiana State Library 140 N. Senate Ave Indianapolis, IN 46204.
  • Mailed essays must be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.
  • Emailed entry forms can be sent to this email address as an attachment.
  • Emailed entries must be received by Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.

Click here for additional information about the 2020 Statehood Day essay contest, including lesson plans for teachers and the 2019 winning essays.

Please contact Suzanne Walker, Indiana Center for the Book director, with any questions.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Suzanne Walker.

‘Happy Birthday, Indiana’ Bicentennial Manuscript Collection: An Introduction

Between June 10th and June 29th, 1816, the first Indiana Constitutional Convention met at the territorial capital, Corydon, and created the Constitution for admission to the Union. Friday, December 11, 2015, marked the 199th anniversary of the day President James Madison signed the act admitting Indiana as the 19th state.

Constitutional Elm 1921-1925

Constitutional Elm, Corydon, Indiana, circa 1921-1925; Delegates to the 1816 constitutional convention worked under the shade of this tree.

The official countdown to Indiana’s 200th birthday began when over 120 fourth grade students participated in several Statehood Day activities at the library, including the creation of birthday cards. To learn more about the day, please visit our previous blog post.

Statehood Day 2015 Coloring_web

Statehood Day, December 11, 2015;Students participate in creating birthday cards for Indiana’s birthday

The bicentennial manuscript collection project was drafted in April 2014 and endorsed by the Bicentennial Commission in late 2014. Beginning in January 2016, fourth grade students from around the state will be asked to decorate special, acid-free birthday cards supplied by the library while briefly explaining “Why do you love Indiana?” andIBCLegacyProject_web “What does being a Hoosier mean to you?” The completed collection will include around 10,000 cards from each county and will be preserved for many generations with other notable collections, including William Henry Harrision, Abraham Lincoln and Helen Keller correspondence as well as the Treaty of St. Mary’s.

The first 500 cards received by June 1, 2016 will be on display in the Indiana State Library Exhibition Hall during the summer of 2016. If your class or student would like to participate, please contact a regional planner from the map or Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division Supervisor at bfiechter@library.IN.gov.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bicentennial Manuscript Regional Coverage Map_web

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts Supervisor. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm