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Center for California Studies
Page Title: Civic Education2007-2008 Student Legislative Summit participants - Town Hall Meeting student participant


Essay Contest
Political Participation by Youth

In recent years, political participation by young people has drastically declined. In the election last year, just over 8% of eligible California youth voted. Many state leaders have suggested electoral reforms to help increase participation by young people, including lowering the voting age or allowing different methods for voting, such as internet voting. Others believe getting students involved in high school is the key. In this contest, we want to hear from you! Why do you think youth voter turnout is so low? Is voting important to you and your peers? What changes do you think will help increase political participation among your peers? Ten winning essayists will receive roundtrip travel to the state capitol on March 2 to share their thoughts on the subject with state leaders.
Postmark deadline: November 18, 2015.

  • Contest open to 11th and 12th grade students in California
  • Essay must be no more than 2 pages, typed and double spaced
  • Entry form must accompany entry

Entry Guidelines
Entry Form
Teaching Resource

Looking for resources to get you started on your essay? Look at a few current reforms that state leaders are proposing: SB 450, AB 1461, VoteCal Project

Visual Arts Contest
Editorial Cartoons

A single image can convey a powerful message. That is why editorial cartoons are often used to explore complex subjects. Cartoonists use symbols, metaphors, caricatures and more to explain public opinion on current issues. In this contest, LegiSchool and KQED's The Lowdown invite you to express your opinion by creating an original editorial cartoon. Cash prizes awarded to winners and runners up.
Postmark deadline: December 4, 2015.

Entry Guidelines - available soon!
Entry Form
- available soon!
Teaching Resource

Photo Contest
California Through My Eyes

Join students from around the state and participate in our most popular contest. Step behind the camera lens and capture a quintessential California picture to illustrate how you envision this state. Show us California through your eyes and you can win a cash prize.

The photo can be of a person, place or thing – the sky is the limit! The grand-prize winner will receive $150 and four runners-up will receive $100 each.
Contest details available Spring 2016.

2014 LegiSchool Photo Contest Winners
2013 LegiSchool Photo Contest Winners
2012 LegiSchool Photo Contest Winners
2011 LegiSchool Photo Contest Winners
2010 LegiSchool Photo Contest Winners
Past Contest Winners

Teacher of the Year
LegiSchool will once again be selecting an educator to receive our Teacher of the Year award. This award was established to celebrate teachers in California who engage their students in matters of public policy and state government. Last year’s winner, 3rd grade teacher Margarita Berdeja, was selected in recognition of her exceptional and dedicated service in the field of education. Using project-based learning as a guide for her Kenmore Elementary School classroom, she successfully integrates multiple Common Core Standards and 21st century skills into each project her students undertake. She notes, “because of the inclusion of civic education in the classroom, my students know their value as citizens who make choices, have voices and take action”.

Are you an educator committed to civic education in the classroom? Do you know someone who inspires students to be active and engaged in the community? Look for our nomination forms this winter!

2014-15 Winner Margarita Berdeja (Kenmore Elementary School)
2013-14 Winner Stephen White (Marysville High School)





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