Virginia PTA Citizenship Essay Program


Review the winners here.


Virginia PTA is committed to promoting a sense of citizenship and responsibility in the lives of our children – tomorrow’s leaders.  To demonstrate the value that Virginia PTA places on good citizenship, we are proud to sponsor, support, and encourage Virginia students to write an essay for the annual Citizenship Essay Contest.  The 2021 theme is, “How Can We Stand Together When We Are So Far Apart?”.

Who Can Enter?

All Virginia students in grades K – 12 presently enrolled in schools with active PTA/PTSA units in Good Standing.  A PTA in Good Standing is one who has paid state and national dues by December 1, and whose bylaws are current, having been revised within the past five (5) years. The Special Writer Division is non-graded and limited to students whose physical, cognitive, or mental health challenges meet ADA guidelines. Qualifying students entering this division create their own essay but may receive non-artistic accommodation and assistance from an adult.


  • Students in grades 9 – 12 must write a minimum of 750 words, typed and double-spaced with Times New Roman 12 Font and 1” margins.
  • Students in grades 6  8 must write a minimum of 500 words, typed and double-spaced with Times New Roman 12 Font and 1” margins.
  • Students in grades 3-5 may submit a maximum of 250 words, typed or handwritten.
  • Students in grades K-2 may submit a maximum of 100 words, typed or handwritten.
  • Special Writers may submit entries typed or handwritten.
  • In all categories, adherence to the theme, originality, clarity, thought, and skill in standard written English will be judged.
  • The theme must be used as the essay title and cannot be changed or altered in any way.


Students who place first in their category at the State level will be notified in the Spring and will be featured in Virginia PTA’s official publications, including The VOICE, and on the Virginia PTA website ( These first place winners at the state level in each division will also receive a CASH PRIZE.

Send essays and completed applications to your District Director for district judging. Contact the District Director for mailing information.  Districts without a District Director – forward entries to the Virginia PTA State Office, Attn:  Citizenship Essay Chair, 1027 Wilmer Ave., Richmond, VA  23227.

Questions: Contact the Virginia PTA State Office at or (804)264-1234 or 866-4vakids.