“What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest
NOTE: This year’s What My Father Means to Me Essay Contests in Minnesota and Kansas City have been suspended while we focus resources on growing our father involvement in education program – WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). Thank you for your interest in participating in the Contest and leading students to consider the value of an involved father or father figure. Some teachers are going ahead with the essay writing assignment and having their students share their essay with their father or father figure. We applaud and encourage such efforts!
WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) is a great way to engage fathers directly in their children’s education by inviting them to volunteer at least one day a year at school. Active in over 5,000 schools, WATCH D.O.G.S. is a triple win for dads, kids and schools. Learn more HERE.
The “What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest was created by the National Center for Fathering (NCF) in 1992 in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of fathering. For the past two decades, the Essay Contest has given a voice to over 1,000,000 school-aged children, allowing them the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings on the topic, “What My Father Means to Me.” Their words speak loudly to the important role fathers and father figures play in the lives of children.
Before Father’s Day each year, NCF hosts the Father of the Year Celebration to spotlight students who placed in the essay contest and to name a “Father of the Year”.
The “What My Father Means to Me” Essay Contest is made possible through the collaborative efforts of corporations, local businesses and volunteers committed to inspiring and equipping men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers, and father figures their children need. The Father of the Year Celebration event celebrates the dads and father figures nominated by children.
2017 To Be Determined
2015 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests
Our Sponsors & Partners
Please join us in thanking and congratulating our sponsors and partners. These generous organizations support the “What my Father Means to Me” Essay Contest and the Father of the Year Celebrations through the provision of gifts and rewards for the winners and participants as well as volunteers to read the thousands of essays that are received each year. Without their generous and enthusiastic support, the “What my Father Means to Me” Essay Contests would not be possible.
The Impact of This ContestExcerpts from Essays
2014 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests
2013 “What My Father Means To Me” Essay Contests
Does the 750 word count include images and their descriptions?
Are citations included in the word count?
In-text citations are included in the word count, but the reference list is not included.
Are headings/titles included in the word count?
Should everything be on one page or should references have a separate page?
The reference list will be submitted separately in the “references” section of the submission site. Everything will be included on one page once the essay is submitted.
Is there a standard font or margin size preferred?
No. Once the essay is copied and pasted into the submission site, it will be formatted to fit our standard margins and fonts.
Can I (a student) submit my essay myself?
Only teachers, administrators, or parents who teach their home-schooled child can submit an essay. While we encourage your current science teacher to submit your essay for you, your English teacher, another science teacher, or any other teacher who helped you can submit your essay.
What does it mean that only teachers can submit essays?
This means students cannot submit their essay themselves and must ask a teacher to do it for them. This is to encourage students to work with their teacher when they write their essay. Please keep in mind, though, that teachers of winners will receive a genetics materials grant and will be featured with the winning students in our announcements.
How do I submit my essay if a teacher cannot do it for me?
Try to find any other teacher who can submit for you. If this isn’t an option, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my guidance counselor submit my essay for me?
Can I submit for my student who is currently studying abroad?
The student must be studying at the same school as the teacher who submits their essay.
Can I change information after I have submitted?
No, please make sure all information is correct before submitting because it will be final.
How does the teacher vouch for the originality of the student’s work?
Your submission represents your authentication that the essays are the original work of your students.
How do I submit more essays?
Use the submission link in the confirmation email.
I submitted late. Will my essay still be judged?
All late submissions will not be judged.
Why isn’t the submission site working?
It may be your browser. Try Firefox or Chrome.
Check your email address. Your may have entered it incorrectly.
Check your submitted information. You may not have filled in all the information required.
Where’s the confirmation email?
It may take some time for the email to get to you. If you haven’t received it by the end of the day, either check your junk mailbox or double check that the email address you provided is correct. If neither of those options work, email email@example.com.
Where do I find the link to volunteer as a judge?
The link was sent in the initial judge recruiting email.
What’s the judging deadline?
All judging deadlines are included in the email that was sent to you.
Can I forward this judging email to a colleague?
Please ONLY forward the judging email to colleagues who are members of ASHG.
Will I be able to read the winning essays after the competition?
Normally, we make highlights from the essay available on the winners page.