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National Civics Bee Southeast Kentucky Chamber

The National Civics Bee

National Civics Bee

The National Civics Bee is an annual competition sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

About the Bee

The National Civics Bee Competition is a four phase event. In Phase 1, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students participate in an essay competition. Judges select 20 students to participate in the next phase. Phase 2 is an in-person competition. During the competition students participate in a multi-round quiz event testing civics knowledge in front of a live panel of judges and audience. The top five students then give an oral presentation on their essay to a panel of judges. The judges scores will determine the top three winners of the competition. In Phase 3, the top 3 finalists from each of Kentucky's six regional competitions advance to the State Final. Phase 4 is the National Competition and the winner of each State Competition will compete.


The Eastern Kentucky Region includes Bath, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rowan, and Wolfe counties.

Regional Finalist
1st Place: $500 cash prize
2nd Place: $250 cash prize
3rd Place: $125 cash prize

State Finalist
1st Place: $1,000 cash prize
2nd Place: $500 cash prize
3rd Place: $250 cash prize

National Finalist
State Finalists who advance to the national competition will compete for prizes worth more than $50,000.

Phase 1 - Essays
November 13, 2023 - February 19, 2024

Submit a 500 word essay discussing your idea to use civics to solve a problem in your community.

Phase 2 - Regional Competition
April 25, 2024

The top 20 essays compete in the Regional Competition at the Mountain Arts Center.

Phase 3 - State Competition
August 2024 (tentative)

The top three finalists from the six Regional Competitions compete in the State Competition at the Kentucky State Fair.

Phase 4 - National Competition

Register Your School to Compete

If you are a teacher or administrator and would like to promote this program to your students please complete the interest form to let us know. You can also download the Student Flyer, a Parent Guide, and a Teacher Guide to learn more about the program and essay submissions.

Students Submit Your Essays

Phase 1 begins November 13, 2023, as the essay submission portal opens. Submissions close January 22, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Submissions Extended to February 19


Essay Topic

Identify a problem facing your community. How might a citizen solve the problem? Write a 500-word essay, two pages, double-spaced, that includes the following:

  • What way can you contribute to your community?
  • How might others view this problem or opportunity differently?
  • What are the ways you can approach this issue?
  • What is your idea or recommendation?
  • What sources provide supporting evidence or examples for your idea or recommendation?
  • How might members of your community bring your idea or recommendation to life?
  • Who might oppose your idea? How might you respond?

Judging Criteria

Your essay will be evaluated based on how well you:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of civics.
  • Acknowledge and address opposing points of view.
  • Acknowledge and address at least one Founding Principle and one Civic Virtue.
  • Use primary sources, like newspapers, data, historical documents, images, or other documents that relate to your idea.
  • Clearly describe an idea innovative or new to you.

Eastern Kentucky Regional Competition Sponsors

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Appalachian Wireless
Double Kwik

Regional Partners

Floyd County Chamber
Hazard Perry County Chamber
Johnson Co Chamber
Pine Mountain Partnership
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