The Maryland Municipal League is co-sponsoring the annual “If I Were Mayor” contest this month, which is open to fourth-graders across the state.
Last year, 272 Prince George’s County students submitted essays outlining what changes they would make if they were mayor of their municipality, said Paula Chase-Hyman, who coordinates the program for the MML.
“We get really good participation,” she said. “We typically get between 25 [hundred] and 28 hundred essays annually from across the state.”
Chase-Hyman said the contest, which is open to public, private and homeschooled students, is a way to familiarize students with the role and work of municipal government.
“For some students, this is the first introduction to the fact that there is a distinction between ‘local government county’ and ‘local government city’,” she said.
Chase-Hyman said the essays are read by municipal officials who narrow down the selection for a final judgment by Mayor’s Association members.
Each of the 11 winners will receive $100, a governor’s citation, an invitation to an award ceremony at the statehouse and boat cruise of Annapolis, she said.
The contest, which began in 2001, is co-sponsored by the Maryland Mayor’s Association, Local Government Assurance Trust and Chesapeake Employees Insurance Company. Students who wish to apply this year must submit their essays to the Maryland Municipal League by March 31.