Guidelines and Advice for Sponsors

Thank you for thinking about sponsoring The American Freedom Essay Contest! The contest is an outgrowth of "Author's Day," a widely endorsed school program in which authors come to schools as guest lecturers on a day.

By sponsoring this contest for your child's grade, or for a school grade you have selected, you are helping educate students on the fundamental American concept of freedom.

We encourage you to get involved in The American Freedom Essay Contest, and help bring about a deeper appreciation of the importance of freedom for all people.

It's important to understand that, by becoming a contest sponsor and deciding to introduce the contest at a school of your choice, you take on the responsibilities for the running and success of your local event. A modest amount of cash and some of your time will be required to pull the event together. If you're not sure you can "go the distance" and remain committed until the awards are handed out, you should decide against sponsoring the contest at this time.

It is the sponsor's responsibility to meet with staff and teachers at your chosen school, encourage them to participate, and chaperone the process from startup through completion. A comfortable approach is to start with your own child's teacher, or meet with the school principal or a department head, and take it from there.

This responsibility cannot be overemphasized, because you will be the person who makes the whole thing go. It is easy for contest preparations to stall or resist implementation, and your personal dedication will make the difference between a school that gets the benefits, and one that merely wishes it were so.

Some schools readily embrace the contest idea and implement it easily. Others may choose to seek advice from their school boards, wade through an approval process, or are otherwise encumbered by policies, red tape or a lack of desire to act. At some schools, unfortunately, real freedom is a somewhat alien concept. Sponsors assume the delicate responsibility of convincing a school to participate, or withdrawing gracefully if a particular school expresses too much reluctance.

The contest takes 90 days from the start date, and the benefits remain long after the contest is completed. Sponsoring the contest on an annual basis is encouraged, but not required. Once a school gets on the bandwagon, running the contest again next year is generally a much easier process, and new sponsors can be brought on board.

As a sponsor, you serve as the main point of contact with The American Freedom Essay Contest founders in Phoenix, Arizona. The contest started as an idea, and was developed with the help of a group of parents, teachers, writers, lawyers and friends. The Phoenix-based American Freedom Essay Contest distributes the awards packages to sponsors (see next page), and if you provide us with your school's winning essay and permission, we will post it on our website, and make it available for distribution to newspapers nationwide.

As a sponsor, you will serve (or appoint someone to serve) as one of the finalist judges. You will also select a second person to serve as a finalist judge. The third finalist judge is the school principal, or someone selected by the principal. An amount of time is needed to read and evaluate the finalists' essays. The first levels of screening are done by the school to reduce the number of entries and the load on the judges' time.

To ensure impartiality, unfortunately, a sponsor's child is automatically ineligible for the contest prizes. However, your child should be encouraged to participate, and will win in the following ways:

The sponsor's child presents the winners' prizes on stage at the awards ceremony.

Sponsors agree to take their children out for a contest celebration, to a location of the child's choice. At this private celebration, the sponsor's child's entry and the winning entry are read aloud and compared.

The sponsor guidelines you are reading are part of a package that includes the Rules for Students, Judges' Guidelines, a cover letter, and an Executive Summary brochure that describes the American Freedom Essay Contest. Sponsors should become familiar with these items. They are used in developing the program at a school, and accompany these guidelines. Copies are also available over the Internet or by mail.

The American Freedom Essay Contest
 details are found on the Internet at:

or by mail at: 
The American Freedom Essay Contest 
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440 Scottsdale, AZ 85254 
602-996-4020 1-800-707-4020

Sponsorship and Cost 

You are invited and encouraged to sponsor The American Freedom Essay Contest! People who sponsor The American Freedom Essay Contest are independent volunteers from all across the nation who:

Have decided the contest has merit and would like to introduce and run it at a school in their local area;

Are willing to follow the contest guidelines included with these sponsor guidelines;

Agree to pay the modest costs associated with the contest, including:

Cash prizes:

A $100.00 check goes to the first place winner and checks go to two finalists at $25.00 each, for a total of $150.00. Sponsors are at liberty to increase the prize money, with the agreement of the school, as long as the finalists in aggregate do not exceed the first place prize.


Four parchment photo-reproductions of The Bill of Rights for the three individual winners and the school itself 

A full-color "American Freedom Essay Content WINNER!" T-shirt for first place 

An attractive framed certificate for the winning teacher's classroom 

Frameable parchment-style copies of the Bill of Rights for each student entrant

The awards package costs $59 and breaks down as shown: 

Winner's T-Shirt ($20); 
parchment photo-reproductions of the Bill of Rights ($10 for 4);
parchment-style student copies of Bill of Rights ($12 for 100); 
winning teacher's framed certificate ($8); 
shipping and handling in U.S. ($9). 
Additional parchment-style student copies of the Bill of Rights, 
needed for larger schools, are $10 per 100 copies, +$4 S&H. 

The package is available from:

The American Freedom Essay Contest, 
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. 
602-996-4020, 1-800-707-4020. 

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