WSPTA Essay Program

Essay Topic:

Who is Your Real-Life Role Model and Why? 

This statewide essay contest explores the important and varied influencers in the lives and education of children – from the children’s perspective. Every day children are exposed to a variety of people and each one has an opportunity to influence the path a child decides to take. Whether it is someone that sparks an interest in a new topic, helps them work through a problem, shapes the kind of person they want to become by modeling behavior, simply listens to them, or any number of other actions, this is the platform for students to share their appreciation. 

The objective of this contest is for students of all ages and abilities to write an essay about an influential role model that has had a profound impact on their life. 

Submission deadline is Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022.  

Participation Guidelines:

Here are the guidelines for this contest:

  • In elementary, the divisions are:
    • Kindergarten
      • 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.
    • 1st & 2nd Grades
      • Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
    • 3rd, 4th & 5th Grades
      • 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.
    • Special Author - Elementary (Kindergarten - 5th Grade)
      • For students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 to have the opportunity and accommodations they may need in order 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.
      • Essays can be dictated/written via adaptive technology or PECS cards and printed by a helper for the special author. If other accommodations are needed for submissions, please contact the essay chair at email listed below. PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System. It is an alternative communication system developed to help children affected by autism convey their thoughts and needs.
  • The influential role model must be a real person that the student has interacted with, not a fictional character. 
  • 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.
  • Essays are limited to 650 words or less.
  • One entry per student only.
  • Each entry must be original, not written by a parent or professional, has not previously won a prize, and does infringe on any copyright rights.
Students may consider many questions when writing their essays including (but not limited to):
  • Why is this role model important in your life?

  • What life lessons, ethics, or skills have the influential role model taught you?

  • Why do you look up to this role model and appreciate having him or her in your life?

  • How would your life be different without this role model?

  • How would other kids benefit from having a similar role model in their lives?

How to submit an entry:

All entries should:

  1. Be typed and sent in a document. The submission process will require COPYING the essay, so please do not send a PDF. Make sure the essay is NO MORE THAN 650 words.
  2. Include the student's first and last name.
  3. Include parent contact information (name, phone # and email). Parent will be contacted to give consent to the complete the submission. 

Email student submissions to our Canyon Creek PTA Literacy Chair by Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022.

Our Literacy Chair will gather the necessary information and complete the entry form on participant's behalf. The parent/caregiver will receive confirmation that their essay has been submitted.


Please submit any questions to Mumtaz Zimbalist, Canyon Creek PTA Literacy Chair.