NLP teams with M-DCPS for second annual PitchIt! Miami student essay contest

UPDATE: The deadline for PitchIt! Miami entries has been extended from April 6 to April 13, 2022.

Educators and students can win up to $100 for best essays about how news literacy education can make a difference

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2022 — The News Literacy Project is working with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) to host PitchIt! – a student writing contest in which the winners receive up to $100 in gift cards for their understanding of how news literacy fosters greater understanding of current events.

The contest is open to students in Miami area and M-DCPS middle and high schools. PitchIt! asks students to write a 500- to 1,000-word essay in response to one of four essay prompts: how the First Amendment protects freedom of the press; how individuals can fact-check well-known figures; why sharing reliable information is a civic responsibility, and the consequences of sharing information online when the user is uncertain whether it’s fact or fiction.

Once students have completed their essays, each participating school and/or educator will choose up to three middle school and three high school entries to submit for the contest. Finalists will be selected by NewsLit Nation News Literacy Ambassadors. Finalists will move forward to pitch their ideas to the PitchIt! judges, journalists Rose Monique Varela Henriquez of el Nuevo Herald and Carolina Rosario of Univision, during the PitchIt! grand prize event via Zoom on April 28, 2022. During this event, finalists will present their arguments and illustrate examples from their essays. The judges will provide real-time feedback on the finalists’ pitches and select winners based on the pitch and idea that would have best prevented misinformation from being spread. The grand prize-winning students and teachers will each receive $100. First-place awardees receive $75, second-place winners will receive $50 and third-place finalists will be awarded $25.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Miami-Dade County Public schools for the second annual PitchIt! Miami student essay contest,” said Monica Valdes, NLP’s Miami news literacy ambassador. “After the success of last year’s contest, we look forward to continuing to help our students analyze different types of misinformation and encouraging them to showcase their ability to think critically about what is and is not verifiable information.”

“NLP has a deep respect for all the educators leading the fight for facts and working to ensure their students are well equipped to navigate the information landscape they’re inheriting,” explained Miriam Romais, NLP’s senior manager, educator engagement. “Not only are these educators helping students to develop an important skillset, they’re also building a news literate community of next generation leaders.”

The deadline for entries is April 6, 2022. The winners of the contest will be chosen on April 28, 2022.  For more information on the PitchIt! Miami student essay contest, click here.