Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest

Meet the Winner

The first place winner of the American Immigration Council’s 24th annual (2020-2021) Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest was Kyla O’Halloran, whose poem “Welcome: Two Syllables, One Word” was submitted by the Chicago Chapter. Kyla's poem examines the impact a simple, welcoming message can have on someone's life. 

About the Contest

The Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest challenges fifth graders across the country to reflect on and write about one of two themes: “Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants” or "What Does It Mean to be A Welcoming Nation?"

The contest begins at the local level, with regional contests run by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) chapters. Each chapter sends its first-place winning entry to the American Immigration Council for the national contest. The grand prize winner (and two guests) will win a trip to read their entry at an awards ceremony hosted by the American Immigration Council.

The Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest is made possible due to the generous support of the MurthyNAYAK Foundation.

Participating in 2022

The contest begins at the local level, with regional contests run by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) chapters. Coordinators can run the contests either in-person or virtually. If you are an interested student or parent, please email us at [email protected].

The Coordinator Guide provides the national contest requirements, detailed timeline and checklists, as well as sample letters, tips, and forms that may be of use for local contests. The contest flyer and one-pager may also be useful during outreach.

In order to be eligible to compete in the national contest, the winning local entry along with following completed forms must be emailed by AILA chapters.

In the past, some local contests have coordinated for AILA lawyers to visit fifth grade classrooms to discuss the benefits of immigration. For sample lesson plans, you may consider using the following websites as resources.

 



 

For Coordinators

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