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News & Events

09-12-2005

World In Potsdam Diversity Festival Writing Contest Now Open

To promote diversity through the written word, the World in Potsdam Diversity Festival is holding a writing contest focused on cultural diversity that will be held in conjunction with the 12th annual Diversity Festival on Saturday, October 22, in SUNY Potsdam’s Barrington Student Union Multipurpose Room from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The World in Potsdam Diversity Festival is a celebration of cultures, especially the diverse international cultures that are represented by residents of the North Country. The festival is cosponsored by Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam and the Village of Potsdam. At the festival, members of such cultures will share dances, food, games, songs and poetry, among other forms of culture. The writing contest will have five categories of entries with varying themes.

Students in grades four and below are asked to write a letter addressed to someone from China who is your age. Explain your favorite folktale, holiday or children’s book. Tell your pen pal why it is special to you and to others – your family, friends or school. Encourage your pen pal to visit you to share this folktale, holiday or book, or ask your pen pal to tell you about their favorite. Make an illustration to go with your letter.

The handwritten hard copy with handmade illustration must be submitted by Friday, October 7, by 4 p.m. The maximum length is three pages, plus a cover page with the writer’s age category, name, address and phone number. The prize is $50 for first place, $25 for honorable mention, and certificates of participation for all entrants.

Students in grades five through eight are asked to write a letter to someone your age in Africa or Latin America. Invite your reader to visit you in Potsdam for a week or two. Choose a special time of year and describe a custom or holiday you enjoy (A custom could be any special event or tradition in your family, school or community). Encourage your reader to visit you when they can share that custom or holiday with you. Give good reasons and explain thoroughly.

The typed hard copy must be submitted by Friday, October 7, by 4 p.m. The maximum length is three double-spaced pages with 12-point font, plus a cover page with the writer’s age category, name, address and phone number. The prize is $50 for first place, $25 for honorable mention, and certificates of participation for all entrants.

Students in grades nine through 12 are asked to consider the statement "Who we are is who we were" (from the film “Amistad”). How is your way of living influenced by an older generation in your family, especially family members who represent cultures from around the world? Are there any special ways that who you are today is influenced by who your family was in the past? Discuss at least two specific ways you are influenced by older generations. Examples of influence might include ways of talking, ways of interacting with other people or ways of sharing time with your family; beliefs/values; and crafts, skills, games, music, dance, food, stories or language. If you choose, reflect on how American culture is influenced by immigrants from other countries, whenever they came here.

The typed hard copy version of a letter, poem or essay must be submitted by Friday, October 7, by 4 p.m. The maximum length is three double-spaced pages with 12-point font, plus a cover page with the writer’s age category, name, address and phone number. The prize is $100 for first place, $50 for honorable mention, and certificates of participation for all entrants.

College students are asked to write a letter, poem or essay about the same topic as the grades nine 12 group. It must be submitted by Monday, October 3, at 4 p.m. The maximum length is three double-spaced pages with 12-point font, plus a cover page with the writer’s age category, name, address and phone number. The prize is $100 for first place, $50 for honorable mention, and certificates of participation for all entrants.

Adult community members are asked to consider the statement, "Who we are is who we were" (from the film, “Amistad”). How are you passing on some part of your cultural experience to the next generation? Is your influence on the next generation shaped by an older generation in your own family, or by your life experience distinct from your family? What role to diverse cultures, whether in your family or personal experience, have in shaping your influence on the next generation? Examples of influence might include ways of talking, ways of interacting with other people, or ways of sharing time with your family; beliefs/values; and crafts, skills, games, music, dance, food, stories or language.

The letter poem or essay must be submitted by Monday, October 3, at 4 p.m. The maximum length is four double-spaced pages with 12-point font, plus a cover page with the writer’s age category, name, address and phone number. The prize is $100 for first place, $50 for honorable mention, and certificates of participation for all entrants.

Judges will score entries on a focused response to the theme, success in persuading a reader to accept what you say, effort to represent significant ideas or insights and clarity for general reader.

Awards will be announced during the opening ceremonies at approximately noon. All entries will be available for viewing.

All entries may be submitted to Office of Public Affairs, SUNY Potsdam, Raymond 602, 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam, NY 13676. Entries in the college and adult categories may also be e-mailed to mitchejk@potsdam.edu (use doc, .rtf, or .txt file format or send the text as the content of the message).

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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