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RPEC Announces 2016 Peace Essay Contest for Students

The annual peace essay contest sponsored by the Richmond Peace Education (RPEC) is now open for entries. The theme for this year’s contest is “Learning Peacemaking from Nature.” The writing prompt asks Richmond-area students in grades K through twelve to find instances of plants and animals living together cooperatively, and consider what peacemaking lessons humans might learn from the natural world. They are asked how those lessons might apply in our families and communities.  Entries are due by April 25, 2016.

Ecological science offers many examples of creatures living together symbiotically in a wide variety of environments. The Peace Center hope this year’s prompt will encourage students to research and learn more about environmental science while they also think and write about ways that members of our own species can cooperate and collaborate peacefully.

The contest is open to all elementary, middle, and high school students in Virginia. It offers a top prize of $100 in each of four grade divisions: K-2, 3-5, middle, and high school. Seven additional cash prizes are also awarded in each division. Teachers are encouraged to use the contest’s writing prompt as they prepare students for the annual SOL writing tests, and to deepen their science instruction as well.

The 2016 Peace Essay Contest honors the memory of the late Jim Doherty, whose family foundation has long provided support for this program of the Peace Center.

The deadline for entries is April 25, 2016. Entry forms, along with contest rules and a complete description of the writing prompt are available at, or by emailing Logo (2)

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