Thank you for your interest in the American Immigration Council "Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest." If you are an educator, parent, administrator or student please contact your local coordinator to participate in the 2014 "Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest.
If you are a coordinator below you will find a number of resources to assist you.
When Eleanor Sreb, of the Smithsonian Folklife Center, and Ross Holland, National Park Service Associate Director for Cultural Resources Management, approached artist Phillip Ratner to create artwork for Ellis Island, Ratner initially thought, "How do I fit the entire world into a single piece?" Ratner sat for hours on a bench in the Great Hall at Ellis Island sketching, thinking, observing--trying to capture the essence of the immigration experience. Ratner conjured up images of the millions of immigrants who passed through that Great Hall--travel weary people of all ages, creeds and nationalities who hungered for a new life in America. "I picked up the ghosts," Ratner said, "and it changed my life. I felt my grandparents' energy and that of the thousands of immigrants who passed through those halls."
Exhibits are hosted by the American Immigration Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of immigration law and policy and the value of immigration to American society; to promoting public service and excellence in the practice of immigration law; and to advancing fundamental fairness and due process under the law for immigrants.
The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce that the first place winner of our Community Education Center's 16th Annual 'Celebrate America' Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest is Erin Stark of Enetai Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington. Her poem entitled What Would You Miss About Immigrants? was chosen from among thousands of entries nationwide. The piece asks what one would do if immigrants stopped coming to the United States.
The American Immigration Council is proud to sponsor the 18th annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest. The contest inspires educators to bring U.S. Immigration history and lessons into their classrooms and gives fifth graders the opportunity to explore America as a nation of immigrants.
ABOUT THE CONTEST:
5th Grade writers use the theme “Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants” to discuss their personal immigration experiences, learn about and share family histories or write about the broader questions of the challenges facing immigrants in a new land. Students enter their work in local contests which are sponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the National Competition where entries are reviewed by a distinguished panel including U.S. senators, award-winning authors and noted journalists.
HOW IT WORKS:
The Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest kicks off in the fall or early winter (depending on the local contest rules) as volunteer attorneys from local AILA chapters visit teachers and classrooms. The attorneys give classroom presentations on immigration to inform students and teachers about the important role immigration plays in our society. The attorneys also explain contest details and get students excited about participating.
We are now accepting submissions for the 2015 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The competition challenges today’s young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects.