Events & Programs

PTA Men's Essay Contest - Men Making a Difference

PTA Men's Essay ContestThis statewide essay contest explores the important and varied contributions that men make in the lives and education of children – from the children’s perspective. All men involved in a child’s life – fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, step-fathers, mentors, neighbors, pastors, coaches, and friends – impact the children they care about. Research clearly shows that male involvement positively influences academic success at all levels of schooling – preschool through college. When male figures are involved with students’ schooling, they enjoy school more and perform better in and out of school. The application deadline is March 1st each year.

Men’s Essay Winners

2018-2019 Winners

Special Author Division:
Ernie Walter, 4th grader, Norman Rockwell PTA 2.8.47
“My Grandpa”.

Grade Level Kindergarten:
Aishwarya Anandh, Norman Rockwell PTA 2.8.47,
“My Brother”

Grade level 1-2:
Shaivi Murthy, Fernwood PTSA 6.10.16
“My Dad is My Hero”

Grade level 3-5:
Mya Cato, Silver Firs PTA 7.3.44
“A Simple Life That Makes A Difference”

Grade level 6-8:
Diya Kamboj, Heatherwood PTA 7.3.71
“I Treasure My Grandfather”

Grade level 9-12:
Aashika Vishwanath, Issaquah High School PTSA 2.6.45
“Moves That Matter”

To be inspired by these young authors watch as they read their heart-felt essays on our YouTube channel.

2017-2018 Winners

Grade level Kindergarten:
Rayna Jaisalmeria, Rosa Parks PTSA 2.8.43, Redmond

Grade level 1-2:
Elizabeth Knill, Penny Creek PTA 7.3.42, Everett

Grade level 3-5:
Yvonne Pan, Cedar Wood PTA 7.3.3, Bothell

Grade level: 6-8:
Sruttika Srinivasa, Leota Middle School PTSA 6.10.65, Woodinville

Grade level 9-12:
Sam Hollenbeck, Inglemoor High School PTSA 6.10.75, Kenmore

To be inspired by these young authors watch as they read their heart-felt essays on our YouTube channel.

Contest Guidelines

Essay Contest Objective

To help promote male engagement around the state of Washington, the objective of this contest is for students of all ages and abilities to write an essay about a male role model that has had a profound impact on their life. These essays, from the students’ perspectives, will serve to inspire positive male engagement.

Students may consider many questions when writing their essays including (but not limited to):

  • Why is this male role model important in your life?
  • What life lessons, ethics, or skills has he taught you?
  • Why do you look up to him and appreciate having him in your life?
  • How would your life be different without him?
  • How would other kids benefit from having a similar role model in their lives?

Essay Contest Participation Guidelines

  • Essays will be scored on the current state learning standards for writing and will be scored on content, organization, language/conventions, and style per the program judging form.
  • Deadline for submissions: postmarked no later than March 1 each year.
  • Entries must include a completed and signed PTA Men’s Essay Contest application form (2019-20 form coming this fall), typed or handwritten legibly on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper, and be no more than 650 words.
  • One entry per student; multiple entries from one student will be disqualified.
  • Open to all Washington State children K-12 in public, private or home-school settings.
  • Each entry must be an original, not be written by a parent or professional, has not previously won a prize, and does not infringe upon the copyright or other proprietary rights of any third party.
  • Awards will be presented at the Reflections Celebration in the Spring.

Participation Application Form and Resources


Special Author

Elementary division (kindergarten – 5th grade) and

Secondary division (6th – 12th grade)

The Special Author division is an option for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 to have the opportunity and accommodations they may need to participate fully in the program. The Special Author division offers modified guidelines to ensure that every student has the chance to be part of the program.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person;
  • Has a record of such an impairment; or
  • Is regarded as having such impairment.

Allowable accommodations include:

  • Use of adaptive technology.
  • A parent, teacher or other adult may assist with typing.

Assistance MAY NOT INCLUDE the actual writing or editing of the submission.  All submissions must be solely created by the Special Author.


Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

Grades 1-2

Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

Grades 3-5

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

  • Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
  • Provide reasons that support the opinion.
  • Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for instance, in order to, in addition, consequently and specifically for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section.

Grades 6-8

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  • Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
  • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.

Grades 9-12

Write narratives to develop real experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  • Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.
  • Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.