2018-19 St. Kosmas Annual Essay Contest for Orthodox Children

“The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos” & “The Krifo Scholio”

1st Place Winner - English Language Category
Ava Ortwein (Memphis, Tennessee)

Topic 2: About the Krifo Scholio
Essay Title: Krifo Scholio: The Secret Schools
Age: 14 years
Type or Name of School: Home-school
Location of Church Attendance: St. John Antiochian Orthodox Church (Memphis, Tennessee)
Prize: $100 cash + $500 credit to attend the St. Kosmas West Conference

1st Place Winner - Greek Language Category
Athanasios Souldatos (Troy, Michigan)

Topic 1: About The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos
Essay Title: Ο Άγιος Κοσμάς ο Αιτωλός
Age: 9 years
Type or Name of School: Home-school
Location of Church Attendance: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Detroit, Michigan)
Prize: $100 cash + $500 credit to attend the St. Kosmas West Conference


2019-20 St. Kosmas Annual Essay Contest for Orthodox Children

2019-20 Essay TOPICS:  TO BE ANNOUNCED August 1, 2019

2019-20 Essay Submissions due:  March 31, 2020

Essay Length: 1000 word limit

Eligibility:  Contestant must be an Orthodox Christian (baptized Orthodox or officially enrolled as a catechumen in the Orthodox Church) and must be born in the year 2000 or later. There are no eligibility restrictions based on Orthodox jurisdiction, type of schooling, or country of residence.

Prior Publication: Essay must be original, not previously published (online or in print) or submitted for publication elsewhere.

Language Requirements:  Essays may be in English, Greek, or Russian. The essay must be the original work of the child, in a language known by the child.

Prizes:  $100 will be awarded to the winning essay in each of the following categories:

     English Language - Senior Division (birth year 2000-2004); Junior Division (birth year 2005 or later)
     Greek Language - Senior Division (birth year 2000-2004); Junior Division (birth year 2005 or later)
     Russian Language - Senior Division (birth year 2000-2004); Junior Division (birth year 2005 or later)

A 1st place winner will be chosen for each language category, and will receive an additional $500 credit towards the family's registration & lodging costs at a future WEST Conference sponsored by the St. Kosmas Homeschool Association. Essays become the property of St. Kosmas Homeschool Association and may be published by the organization in print or on our website.

2019-20 Essay Submission Process:
All contestants must submit their essay as a pdf through the online form available on this web page. The form will ask for information about the author and will allow for the essay to be uploaded as a pdf and submitted as an attachment. Time period for submissions is from January 1 - March 31, 2020.

Topics for 2018-19 Essay Contest:

Topic #1: About the Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos

Develop one or more of the following themes:

1) Talk about about the childhood of St. Kosmas. In what way did his childhood prepare him for the work he did as an adult? How did his work affect the Greek nation? How are we benefited by him today?

2) What parallels can be drawn between the culture in which he lived and our own? What about the life of St. Kosmas Aitolos makes him a fitting patron for Orthodox education in the 21st century?

3) What do his life and words teach us about the goals and purpose of education? Discuss how Orthodox homeschools (as well as Orthodox parochial schools) fulfill St. Kosmas' exhortations.

Topic #2: About the Krifo Scholio

Develop one or more of the following themes:

1) What is the Krifo Scholio? When and why did it exist? What were children taught in the Krifo Scholio? How did it help them as children, and later as adults?

2) How did the Krifo Scholio affect the Greek nation, the Church, and the preservation of the Greek language?

3) How is the Krifo Scholio relevant to us today in the 21st century - both in regard to the Church and to education - and what can we learn from it? Is there anything that took place during the time of the Krifo Scholio that parallels what is happening today in our country or educational system?

4) Though some sources today cite it as a myth, how do we know that the Krifo Scholio took place historically?  Why do you think there are efforts to discount the Krifo Scholio?