Alaska Association for Bilingual Education (AKABE) hosts the Annual Bilingual Multicultural Education Equity Conference (BMEEC) in Anchorage every year. This year’s conference is November 20-22, 2013.

Please let students know about an essay contest Proud to Be Bilingual/Bicultural. There are three grade categories upper elementary Grades 3-5; junior high grades 6-8 and high school grades 9-12. The deadline is October 15, 2013. The application form isn’t available yet, but from previous years the criteria are as follows:

ELIGIBILITY: Students who are learning English as a second language, or who are learning their heritage language as a second language are eligible to participate. Previous statewide winners are welcome to enter.

CRITERIA: Each essay will be judged on development of theme, originality, content and clarity of expression and grammar and mechanics.

RULES: Only entries that comply with the following rules will be considered.

Language: All essays must be written in English. The Grand Prizewinner is encouraged to read her/his essay in English at the AKABE luncheon, but will have the option of also reading it in her/his native language. (Teachers can help younger students understand the wording.)

Subject:All essays must address the theme, Local Hero to be eligible.

Length: The number of words MUST be recorded at the end of each essay. The length of the essay MUST BE:

Elementary, Grades 3-5: 150-200 words

Middle/Junior High, Grades 6-8: 250-300 words

High School, Grades 9-12: 350-500 words

The Judging criteria is based on six categories: Ideas and Content; Organization; Voice; Word Choice; Sentence Fluency; and Conventions. A maximum of three essays per grade category will be accepted from the same school.

Although AKABE does not fund travel, if a winner from Yukon-Koyukuk School District (YKSD) is chosen as the grand prize winner, the YKSD Native language program will fund that student and a chaperone to attend the awards luncheon. For more information contact Susan K’etsoo Paskvan, YKSD Native Language Coordinator District at (907)374-9405 or via email at