Education Roundup for Sept. 20, 2018

Education sources have given updates on the state’s mock election and a scholarship essay competition.

Registration open for student mock election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Secretary of State’s office has announced that registration is now open for Tennessee’s 2018 Student Mock Election. This event was first introduced during the 2016 presidential election, when it drew participation from 165,968 students and 479 schools across the state.

Students in preschool through high school from all public and private schools, as well as home school associations across the state, can cast a vote for Tennessee’s next governor and U.S. senator. Registration is open through Oct. 12, and results must be submitted by Mock Election Day, Oct. 30.

“Our goal with the Student Mock Election is to emphasize the importance of civic engagement in our schools, hopefully preparing our students to be engaged citizens as they reach adulthood,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The Civic Education and Engagement Advisory Committee has prepared lesson plans for teachers to incorporate civic engagement into their curriculum leading up to the Student Mock Election. For more information about the Student Mock Election and other civic engagement initiatives, visit

TN contest offers scholarships for students’ leadership essays

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office is kicking off its third annual student civics essay contest on leadership. The project is part of a larger civics engagement initiative to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens. The 2018 theme for the essays is leadership with length requirements varying by grade level.

Schools may submit two essays in these age categories: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade and ninth through 12th grade. All submissions can be submitted online beginning in September through Friday, Nov. 16.

Winners will receive a TNStars 529 College Savings Program scholarship and a trip to the State Capitol next spring. First place winners receive a $500 scholarship, with second and third place winners receiving $250 and $100 respectively.

The 2017 essay contest on citizenship garnered more than 1,000 essays, up from nearly 250 submissions in 2016. Essays were written from across the Volunteer State with top honors going to public and private school students in Davidson, Hamilton, and Knox counties.

The program also offers lesson plans created by Tennessee teachers based on the Tennessee Blue Book. The goal is to offer an easy way for teachers to incorporate civic engagement and citizenship into their curriculum. For more information, visit