MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - 105 students were recognized at the Mississippi State Capitol Thursday for high achievement in the arts and writing for their participation in 2017 Promote the Vote.
Promote the Vote was started by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann as a comprehensive k-12 voter education program. This year's contest centered around "Mississippi's Bicentennial Birthday" in celebration of the State's 200-year history.
Students participating ranged all the way from kindergarten to the twelfth grade.
For purposes of the contests, the State was divided into nine regions: the Coast, Lower River, Piney Woods, Capital Area, East Central, Delta, Clay Hills, Northeast Corner, and North.
The art contest asked participants to depict "My Mississippi," or an industry, person, landmark, or other notable symbols from their region of the State. More than 1,200 students entered the contest.
The essay contest asked participants to write about "Moving Forward," by identifying an issue in their region of the State and proposing a way to address it. More than 200 students submitted essays.
"One of the most important things we can teach our children is about our past because learning about the past makes us more informed voters at the ballot box in the future," Secretary Hosemann said.
73 students won art awards and 32 students won essay awards.
First-place winners will receive a $100 savings account provided by sponsor banks across the State. And free entry to the Mississippi Museum of History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum today, compliments of First Commercial Bank. Schools with first-place winning students will also receive $100.