If your middle schooler studied the US Constitution this year, he or she might want to put that knowledge to work and enter the "We the People 9.17" contest being sponsored by ConstitutingAmerica.org. Constituting America is a non-profit organization created by Janine Turner, perhaps best known for her role as Maggie on Northern Exposure. The mission of the organization is "to reach, educate and inform America's youth and her citizens about the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the foundation it sets forth regarding our freedoms and rights."
As part of that goal, Constituting America is running a contest in which middle schoolers can express their support for the US Constitution. Students can submit either a 850 words (or less) essay on the topic "Why the United State Constitution is Relevant Today," or an original 3:20 (or shorter) song on "What the United States Constitution Means to Me." The winner in each category will receive a $200 gift card, will have her or his work promoted on the Constituting America website, and will be featured in some Constitution Day activities on 9/17/2011. The deadline is June 14, 2011, and the rules and process for entering can be found on this webpage.
I have to say that this brings me back to my own, perhaps not middle school, but high school days. I had a joint US History and English class, and the teachers used to encourage me to enter contests like this. I entered a number of contests like this, and won quite a few! So if you have a child with an interest in American History and some talent in writing either essays or songs, why not give it a try?