Students write essays for contest on how 
they would run a city

Think you’ve got a great idea on how to run this town?

If you’re a seventh- or eighth-grade student and pen your thoughts, you might be one of the state’s four winners in the If I Were Mayor essay contest.

For the fifth year, Colorado Municipal League, an advocacy group for local towns and cities, is sponsoring an essay contest. Winners receive $500 to sink into a CollegeInvest account, a college savings plans for future college students.

Each year, Colorado Municipal League receives about 300 submissions. Teachers alert students to the contest, and home-schooled students are encouraged to apply.

“The judges focus on their knowledge of municipalities,” CML’s Membership Services Manager Lisa White said. “We look for some really great ideas.”

Last year, three Western Slope students were contest winners: Craig Middle School student Kaylee Buckley, Cedaredge Middle School’s Joanna Smail and Ting Taylor of Telluride Middle School.

Winning students also are invited to CML’s annual banquet to read their essay, an event that a number of the state’s mayors attend.

More information, including the definition of a municipal government and some vocabulary terms, is listed on CML’s website, Entry forms are available there. Essays are due April 5.

“The beautiful part of it is the middle school age is such an influential age,” White said. “If something good happens, that can really set them on the path to something great. Maybe once they get in high school they can join youth councils.”


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