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Public radio WUIS sponsoring annual "This I Believe" essay contest

December 11, 2007

Contact: Lisa Stott, 217/206-6403, LClem1@uis.edu

Entries must be postmarked by December 15

SPRINGFIELD – Public radio station WUIS 91.9 /WIPA 89.3 is sponsoring its second annual "This I Believe" essay contest, which asks area high school seniors to submit original 500-word essays of their personal beliefs.

Submissions to this year's contest should be postmarked no later than December 15 and sent to WUIS This I Believe Essay Contest, One University Plaza, MS WUIS 130, Springfield, IL 62703-5407.

A panel of judges will select 10 winners, who will be notified at their high schools in January. Winners will record their essays for broadcast on WUIS and will receive $100 plus the opportunity to attend Rotary Youth Leadership in Peoria, provided by Springfield Rotary-Sunrise.

Each week WUIS airs the NPR series This I Believe, itself the descendent of a 1950s-era series with Edward R. Murrow that featured prominent and everyday Americans sharing their beliefs in an attempt to foster dialog and understanding. Today's series asks people from all walks of life to write brief essays summarizing their own personal philosophies. Creators of the modern NPR series also sought to broaden civil discourse by writing a corresponding high school curriculum. High school English classes in the WUIS broadcast area received this curriculum in the fall semester.

"The goal of the program is to give teachers another way to enthuse, motivate, and capture their students' imaginations about writing, while giving students an opportunity to share their own voice with the broader society," explained Lisa Stott, WUIS development director.

Complete information about the contest, including the curriculum, is available at www.wuis.org. Additional partners in the contest include the Springfield Mayor's Office of Education Liaison and Springfield School District 186.

WUIS/WIPA is a listener-supported public radio service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. WUIS' mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach.  For more information or to listen to the station online, go to www.wuis.org.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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