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National Civics Bee coming to Campbellsville University

By Victoria Cox, student intern, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Essays, quizzes and more will be coming to Campbellsville University with the announcement of the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce being selected as a National Civics Bee host.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Civics Bee is an annual competition for middle school students that “encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.”

The competition has three phases.

First, interested students are asked to submit a 500-word essay by Friday, Feb. 24, identifying and explaining a problem their community is facing, how others view the problem, what civic principles or systems could help address the issue, an idea or recommendation to solve it, what primary sources support the civic proposal and how the community could bring the concept to life.

Essays can be submitted online at or mailed to Greg Gribbins, 205 N. Columbia Ave., Campbellsville, Ky. 42718.

Once the deadline passes, submissions will be evaluated, and 20 local finalists will be selected to attend a live quiz on Saturday, April 29 in The Gheens Recital Hall in the Campbellsville University School of Music, 210 University Drive, Campbellsville.

The accuracy of their answers will first eliminate students. A panel of judges will question those advancing to the third round, with questions related to the submitted essay. A first, second and third place winner will be selected based on the highest cumulative scores. First place will receive a $500 cash prize; second will receive $250; and third $125.

The top three winners will advance to the Kentucky Civics Bee. The students will compete live in a similar event, answering civics-based questions. The finalists with the top three highest cumulative scores will advance to the third round, where participants will present a 3-minute pitch and answer questions related to their essay. First place will receive a $1,000 cash prize, second a $500 cash prize and third a $250 cash prize.

To be eligible to participate in the Civics Bee, entrants must be a student in grades sixth through eighth at the time of the entry; enter in only one chamber competition, which must be their state of residence; write in English; and submit a new, unique entry.

The number of judges needed for the local competition will depend on the number of entries. According to Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Director Greg Gribbins, one judge, selected by the Chamber of Commerce, is recommended for every 10 entries.

If anyone is interested in being a judge, or would like to nominate someone, contact the chamber office at (270) 465-8601.

“I just want to get the word out about it,” Gribbins said. “I want to have enough entries to have the 20 finalists.”