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

hosted by St. Kosmas Aitolos Homeschool Community

Essay Submissions due:  March 31, 2019

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 1999 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 or Greek. They must be the original work of the child and must be submitted in the language known to that child.  If a child is able to write in both Greek and English, the child may submit his/her essay in both languages, but may not have the essay translated by someone else for submission.

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

     English Language - Senior Division (birth year 1999-2003) 
     English Language - Junior Division (birth year 2004 or later)
     Greek Language - Senior Division (birth year 1999-2003)
     Greek Language - Junior Division (birth year 2004 or later)

A 1st place winner will be chosen from among the four categories above, 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. All four winning essays will be published on the St. Kosmas website and may also be published in printed Orthodox periodicals. Essays become property the of St. Kosmas Homeschool Association.

Essay Submission Process:
All contestants must submit their essay as a pdf through an 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, 2019.

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?