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2012 Oakseed Ministries International Essay Contest- “Compassion and The Illiterate Child”

Oakseed Ministries International announces its seventh annual essay contest for youths on the topic: Compassion and the Illiterate Child.

Submission Deadline
2 May 2011
Choose one topic and write an essay exploring the specific area on “Compassion and Child Trafficking”, keeping in mind the backdrop of compassion.

Essay Topic
“Compassion and Child Trafficking”

Awards and Recognition

$1,000 will be awarded to the author of the best essay in each age category. Second place essays will receive a $500 award and Honorable mention will receive a $250 award. The winners will be notified in June 2012 and the winning essays posted on the Internet at

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to submit an essay, students must meet the age requirements as of May 2, 2012. You may submit only ONE essay.

Age Categories
17 & under: 5,000 characters or less (approx. 1000 words in length).
18 – 22: 7,500 characters or less (approx. 1500 words in length).

Choose Essay Topic

Choose one topic and write an essay exploring the specific area, keeping in mind the backdrop of compassion.

  • Survey the problem of illiteracy among poor children. Which countries have the highest children’s illiteracy rates and why? What countries are effectively dealing with this issue and how?
  • What is the most effective way to teach children to read? Compare and contrast the “look and say” method and the “intensive, systematic phonics first” method. Is either effective, or is there a better method for teaching children to read?
  • Many disorders hamper development of reading skills. Discuss the different learning disabilities. What are the causes of these disabilities; biological factors or the learning environment? What methods help each disability most effectively?
  • Illiteracy and crime. Select 2-3 countries or American cities and compare the illiteracy and crime rates. Discuss efforts to promote literacy in high-crime areas and what involvement you could have with them.
  • Illiteracy, culture, and the internet/mass media. How do both cultural norms and modern day technology contribute to the pandemic of illiteracy? What are solutions to this problem?
  • Economic impact of illiteracy for the family, the community, and nations. Is there a relationship between illiteracy and poverty? Is literacy a basic human right of a child? Discuss how children’s literacy should be included in the economic plan of a nation.
  • What are outstanding examples of literacy development among children? Choose three individuals, organizations, or government agencies that have focused on this area. Describe their methods and list the major results. Is there a way for you to exercise compassion by helping one of these?

Essay Format

  • The essay must be an original, unpublished work.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual perspective should be present within the essay.
  • Sources are to be cited in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes. You do not need to provide a bibliography.
  • Essays should be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1” margins. On the lower right corner of your last page enter your word count. Your name must not appear on the essay pages.
  • Entries that do not meet these submission guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Entries will not be returned. All entries must be postmarked by May 2, 2011.

Essay Evaluation Criteria

Each essay should:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues surrounding child trafficking and its implications on society.
  • Show the author has personally wrestled with the nature and character of compassion.
  • Demonstrate the student’s own serious reflection on the current and future problems facing child trafficking.
  • Be focused and well-reasoned.
  • Use correct spelling and grammar.

All entries will be judged, according to age category, using the following criteria:
• Awareness of the problem (1/3 total score)
Demonstrate knowledge and depth of understanding about the issue from your research.
• Quality of analysis (1/3 total score)
Develop your own perspective on the issue. This perspective should be reflected in your analysis of the issue and your personal response to it.
• Style and mechanics (1/3 total score)
Use proper spelling and grammar. Your response to the topic should be clear and original.

How to Submit Your Essay Online
To submit your essay online, visit for more information. Download the application form below. All submitted essays must be either in a.pdf or.doc format.

Receipt Deadline
Essays must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on May 1, 2012.

How to Submit Your Essay By Mail
To submit your essay by mail, include the two parts;

Part One: A Personal Information Form
Use a cover page to provide the following information:
Your name
Your date of birth
Home address, City, State, Postal Code, Country
Home telephone number
Email address
School’s name (or specify home school)
Grade level (or equivalent)
Parent’s or guardian’s name (For age category 17&under)
Include the following statement with your Personal Information Form.

Part Two: Submit two copies of your essay
Send your Personal Information Form and two (2) copies of your essay to:
Essay Contest
Oakseed Ministries International
PO Box 607
Dunn Loring, VA 22027


The essay contest is a part of a yearlong effort to raise awareness of the plight of illiterate children that will culminate in the Annual Day of Prayer for Children at High Risk in 2012.  Visit the Oakseed Ministries website to learn more about the organization and the work they are doing around the world.

2012 Essay Contest Submission Form

2012 Essay Guideline

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1 Comment
  1. june says

    what does child trafficking have to do with any thing? the whole question and text should be reviewed because there are lots of errors.

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