The Fourth Annual Rhode Island 8th Grade Gandhi Essay Contest sponsored by the URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies, School of Education, and University Honors Program, was delighted that a record 161 students submitted essays this year. And what a stellar group of essays they were! The judging committee was overwhelmed at the level of writing, depth of meaning, personal connections, and students’ earnest commitment to nonviolence.
This year there were entries from 17 schools throughout Rhode Island, from both public and private middle schools. Some teachers have their entire class participate in learning about Gandhi and answering this year’s prompt: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
In September the essay contest invitation was sent out to all 8th Grade Social Studies and English teachers in Rhode Island. The contest officially kicked off on October 2, Gandhi’s birthday. The deadline for submissions was January 30, Gandhi’s assassination date. Each essay was scored by 3 judges, who were URI students in the secondary education English program. Dr. Diane Kern, URI School of Education Professor, trained and coordinated this process. The highest scoring essays were presented to the final judging committee, who reviewed and evaluated each one. Thanks to committee members Clay Sink, Bob Carothers, Tia Lahiri, Indu Suryanarayan, Ruby Dholakia, Nik Dholakia, Paul Bueno de Mesquita, and Kay Johnson.
The awards ceremony will be held April 30 from 5:00-6:30 in the URI Multicultural Center Forum. All top honorees, their families, teachers, principles, and friends are invited. This is always a wonderful, uplifting event that honors not only Gandhi, but each 8th grade individual who has studied and learned about this great nonviolent man. Kudos 161 times!