Secretary of State Elaine Walker has announced three public school winners for the 2011 annual election slogan and essay contest managed by her office with support from the Kentucky Education Association Retired and the University of Kentucky Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, a division of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

The contest was created by the Kentucky General Assembly to promote civic engagement among Kentucky students. Topics for the contest focus on some aspect the election process in Kentucky and First Amendment freedoms included in the U.S. Constitution. Teachers are encouraged to integrate the topics into classroom curriculum by including them in core content lessons so all students benefit.

The contest theme addressed the rise in the number of voters who were registered as independents compared to numbers of independents elected to office and how those numbers may be influenced by media coverage.

Natalie Farrar, a LaRue County High School freshman from Hodgenville, was an essay contest winner.

Bailey Tungate, who attends Lebanon Middle School (Marion County), won $300 for the slogan, “They fought for the right; the rest is up to you.” James Jacobs, who attends Saint Charles Middle School (Marion County), received $200 for his third-place slogan, “Vote now or forever hold your peace.” Voter slogan contest winners were decided by judges and an online poll.

Students interested in entering the contests for 2012 or teachers who want the contest themes to include in their curricula should contact Patrick Keal by calling (502) 564-3490.