Sunday, October 17, 2021

Show America Some Love

Kids in our community have an opportunity to write an essay, poem or draw a picture that tells us, “Why I Love America.” This non-political essay contest is an ongoing project to rally the patriotic spirit in our community, our country, and beyond.

“The contest is designed to help and inspire our kids to think about what we all have as Americans and what’s great about this country,” says Jeff Popick of Pop Media Network, the contest organizer. “The motivation is to help kids participate in an environment where it feels like we’re too focused on a problem, and give them time to focus on what’s great instead, and understand why they love America.”

Children from kindergarten through twelfth grade can write in or draw a submission. There is no prerequisite for entering the contest and no purchase is necessary. Written parental consent is required. The closing date for contest submissions is August 15, 2018.

“We want it in 400 words or less; it’s not long, but it’s not short,” Popick states. “The essay should sum up why they love America with their supporting facts. The word count is the only thing made public as far as guidelines with what to write. I want to leave the rest to the kid’s interpretation.”

Monetary prizes vary by grade, ranging from $50 for kindergarten students, up to $500 for high school seniors.

The contest is sponsored, in part, by Walmart, a national corporation, yet remains a local effort. “The conversation [with Walmart] was how big we want to make it and we felt we wanted to keep it local,” Popick stated. “With the All-American Freedom Awards next year, we have a lot to do between now and then.”

The essay contest will be a standalone category in the “All-American Freedom Awards,” created by Popick. The event is planned for 2019, date not yet determined. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Ft. Myers will be the scene for the Academy Awards-style celebration, with awards in 10 different categories, musical performances and tributes to our great nation.

Popick encourages kids to be as creative as they can. There will be one winner for each grade level and a grand prize for overall excellence. For submissions and official contest rules, visit

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