Hundreds of fourth and fifth grade classes from throughout the Greater Philadelphia area recently submitted their written responses to the 5th Annual "Citizenship Challenge Essay Contest" sponsored by the Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics – a competition providing an opportunity for students to think critically and express themselves about a current issue facing our democracy.
This year's challenge posed the following question to participating students: "Should the Constitution of the United States be amended to impose term limits on members of Congress? Members of the Supreme Court? Why or why not?"
After submitting the essays, the initial pool of applicants was then narrowed down to a group of ten finalists who were invited to the National Constitution Center to defend their position in front of a live panel of distinguished judges, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Among the finalists at this year's event were students from Mrs. McGuire's fifth grade Challenge class at Cynwyd Elementary School, who performed an engaging, entertaining and educational skit and song before answering a series of questions from Governor Rendell, Judge Marjorie Rendell and the team of moderators. With all of the presentations and deliberations complete, the judges ultimately announced that the Cynwyd contingent had earned top honors in this year's competition. For their efforts, the Owls also received the $1,000 grand prize, which will be used for a program that promotes civics learning and engagement.