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Sen. Sanders challenges students to write State of Union essays

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Posted on November 23, 2016 |
By Addison Independent



BURLINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has launched his seventh annual State of the Union essay contest, calling on Vermont’s high school students to address what they view as the major issues facing the U.S.

Last year, nearly 800 students from 39 Vermont high schools wrote essays detailing their own view of the “state of the union.”

The U.S. Constitution calls for the president to “give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Sanders is again asking Vermont’s high school students to consider writing an essay of 250 to 500 words detailing their own view of the state of the union.

Sanders’ annual essay contest is an opportunity for Vermont high school students to articulate what issues they would prioritize if they were president. A panel of Vermont teachers will judge the essays and select a winner. The finalists will have their essays entered into the Congressional Record — the official archive of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Sanders will also hold a roundtable discussion with the finalists.

“Our students are the future of our country — and they must be involved in the discussion about where our country needs to go. This is a great opportunity for students to articulate their views and concerns,” said Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee.

“We need our students to be engaged, to help find solutions for the problems that face our country. That’s what democracy is all about,” Sanders said.

Since Sanders’ State of the Union essay contest was first held, roughly 2,400 students from schools throughout Vermont have written essays on topics such as the declining middle class, climate change, health care reform, the rising cost of a college education and many other issues.

The deadline for student essay submissions is Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. More information can be found on the senator’s webpage at http://www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion/ or by calling 800-339-9834.

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