National Essay Contest 2021

Enter the Make a Difference Essay Contest

Students K-8th Grade


Kindness and thoughtfulness for others are values that are important for building character in our students while also creating a culture of kindness in our schools and communities. At The Be Kind People Project, we define kindness as intentionally extending good to others and we believe that everyone can make a difference. Whether in school or online, ignite the power of kindness by allowing students to focus their attention and actions on making a difference through their relationships with others. Use this writing prompt to celebrate positive behavior, enhance the learning environment, and spark a culture of kindness in your schools, homes, and communities.


How I Can Make a Difference
Prompt: “If I were in charge of making my community a kinder place, this is what I would do.”
While not required, you can use these Social and Emotional Learning themes and examples to inspire your submission:

  • Self-awareness – “How can I make a difference by recognizing and using my strengths to help others?”
  • Self-management – “How can I make a difference by practicing resilience and positivity to reach my goals?”
  • Responsible decision making – “How can I make a difference by being considerate and making responsible decisions?”
  • Relationship skills – “How can I make a difference by showing compassion and being a friend even if we don’t always agree?”
  • Social awareness – “How can I make a difference by demonstrating empathy, inclusivity, respect, and kindness?”


Each entry should be student-written and align with academic standards. The original writing should answer the question, “How can I make my community a kinder place?”, and be based on real actions of kindness relating to your own life and The Be Kind Pledge™.

  • For grades K-2: A one-page picture or picture series accompanied by 1-5 nicely hand-written sentences.
  • For grades 3-8: A written essay, maximum 1 page, typed double-space or printed legibly.
  • Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in either option based on their abilities and parent or teacher discretion.

Selection Criteria

Each entry will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates a sense of connection with the topic, answers the question, and includes a personal/emotional connection.
  • Focuses on and uses interesting details and creativity to support the topic.
  • Reads with cohesion and ideas flow throughout the writing piece.
  • Conveys vivid imagery through appropriate word choice.
  • Uses appropriate sentence structure and grammar to support ideas.

Submission & Timing

  1. The essay must include the student’s name and grade level, as well as the teacher/parent’s name, email address, and phone number.
  2. All entries must be uploaded by the student’s teacher, parent, or guardian and received by Friday, April 30, 2021.
  3. Upload entries at OR mail entries to 10869 N. Scottsdale Road Suite 103-254 Scottsdale, AZ 85254.

Entries Due: Friday, April 30, 2021
Winners Announced: Monday, May 17, 2021


Based on their submission, first, second, and third place winners will be selected in each of the following grade levels: K-2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, and 6th-8th grade. Winners will be notified on Monday, May 17, 2021, and prizes will be awarded.

All winning students receive BE KIND Swag and a BE KIND Make a Difference Essay Contest Certificate. All teachers of winning students receive BE KIND classroom materials and free access to THE BE KIND SCHOOL premium online classroom resources for the 2021-2022 academic school year. In addition, one grand prize winner in each category will receive a smart speaker or smart watch, live video call with THE BE KIND CREW, free admission to The BE KIND American Adventure Field Trip, and the opportunity to be featured on a national social media broadcast.

Google Home Smart Speaker
K-2nd Grade Grand Prize

Apple HomePod Speaker
3rd-5th Grade Grand Prize

Apple Watch
6th-8th Grade Grand Prize

2020 Make a Difference Essay Contest Winners

Questions? Comments?

Reach out to us! Email or call 602-559-9399.

The Be Kind People Project® (BE KIND) is a public 501 (c) 3 non-profit dedicated to providing students with comprehensive youth development programming that effectively use a positive approach to social, emotional, and academic learning.

Our Mission

Our mission is to initiate positive social change in schools and provide a framework for youth that will improve academic achievement, interpersonal relationship skills, accountability, behavior, personal health and wellness, teacher appreciation and the formation of enduring values.


The Be Kind People Project has a vision of building a generation of respectfulresponsiblehealthy, and caring citizens and leaders and believes that in a multi- cultural society, trust, understanding, tolerance, and kindness are the cornerstones of peace, order, and civility.

Learn more about The Be Kind People Project