National Essay Contest 2023

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Thank you to all our participants in the 2023 BE KIND Make a Difference Essay Contest.

Entries for the Spring 2023 contest closed on
Friday, March 31st, 2023.

We had an overwhelming number of responses, and each essay included wonderful and inspiring examples of kindness. The contest judges have enjoyed reading each and every essay.

We would like to congratulate the following students for their excellent writing and creativity in their essays! All winners have been contacted.

Congratulations to the 2023 BE KIND
Make a Difference Essay Contest Winners


First Place: Aiden – Bryan, TX
Second Place: Bryan, TX
Third Place: John – Bryan, TX
Honorable Mention: Valentina – Scottsdale, AZ

3-5th Grade

First Place: Layla – Elliott City, MD
Second Place: Brooke – Scottsdale, AZ
Third Place: Jay – Elliott City, MD
Honorable Mention: Warshik – Jersey City, NJ

6-8th Grade

First Place: Olive – Knoxville, TN
Second Place: Aarna – Chandler, AZ
Third Place: Madelyn – Knoxville, TN
Honorable Mention: JT – Chandler, AZ

What Parents & Teachers Are Saying About the 2023 National Essay Contest

  • “This was the perfect way to motivate students to practice their writing skills before state testing.”
    6th Grade Teacher
  • “This has been such a positive experience, we are glad she gets to participate!”
    Parent of a Winner
  • “Thank you for sponsoring a contest about a topic that means so much to me. I am grateful for my students who also feel passionately about showing and spreading kindness.”
    6th Grade ELA Teacher
  • “We sure do appreciate everything we have learned this year from participating in The Be Kind People Project! And we appreciate everything y’all have done to put the project on and share such wonderful resources for building up our kids and communities!”
    2nd Grade Teacher

Starting Monday, May 1st you can see some of these essays featured on our Instagram @bekindpeople. 

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest information on upcoming contests and events.  

The 2023 BE KIND Make a Difference Essay Contest details are listed below: 

Enter the Make a Difference Essay Contest

Annual Spring 2023 Contest Details

Open to Students K-8th Grade Nationwide


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.

The Be Kind Pledge lists 10 skills of intentional acts of kindness and when used as a habit can assist in making a lasting impact. 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: “This is how I can use the skills of The Be Kind Pledge in my community.”

Guiding Questions: While not required, you may use these additional questions and examples to inspire your submission.

  • How can I apply the skills of The Be Kind Pledge in my relationships with others at school, at home, in the community, and online?

  • Even when the world isn’t kind, how can I show resilience and initiate positive change?
  • How can my small, immediate acts of kindness make a long-term impact on those around me?
  • How can I make kindness a habit and intentionally choose to take kind actions?
  • How can I be considerate and make responsible decisions that positively affect those around me?
  • How can strengthening my body and mind help me build healthy and responsible habits?
  • How can I make a difference in my neighborhood by demonstrating empathy, inclusivity, respect, and kindness?


Each entry should be student-written and guided by grade-appropriate academic standards. The original writing should answer the question, “How can I make a difference?”, 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 nicely hand-written sentences (recommended 1-5). View the K-2 Grading Rubric.

For grades 3-5: A written essay, maximum 1 page with approximately 2-3 paragraphs, typed double-spaced or printed legibly. View the 3-5 Grading Rubric.

For grades 6-8: A written essay, maximum 1 page with approximately 2-3 paragraphs, typed double-spaced or printed legibly. View the 6-8 Grading Rubric.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in any 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

  • Please use the following formula to label your essay document: Grade Group_Last Name_School.

    Example: K-2_Smith_Jefferson Elementary, 3-5_Jones_Northwest Elementary, or 6-8_Brown_Roosevelt Middle School.

  • The essay must include the student’s name and grade level. Please ensure this information is listed on the essay and not just on the submission form.
  • All entries must be uploaded by the student’s teacher, parent, or guardian and received by Friday, March 31st, 2023.

  • Upload entries here OR mail entries to 10869 N. Scottsdale Road Suite 103-254 Scottsdale, AZ 85254.

Entries Due: Friday, March 31st, 2023
Winners Notified: April 17th, 2023
Winners Publicly Announced: April 28th, 2023


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. 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 Break Premium online classroom resources for the 2023-2024 academic school year.

Winners will be notified on Friday, April 14th, 2023, and first, second, and third-place winners will choose one of the following grand prize options. Specific product details and options (including model, color, brand, etc.) will be shared with parents and student winners.

Grand Prizes

First-place winners choose from:

Apple Watch  Electric Scooter  Karaoke Machine  |  Mountain Bike

Second-place winners choose from:

Scooter  Waterproof Speaker Converse or Nike Shoes

Third-place winners choose from:

Wireless Earbuds  Science Kit Magazine Subscription

Past Make a Difference Essay Contest Winners



Questions? Comments?

Reach out to us! Email [email protected] or call 602-559-9399.

Learn More about BKPP

Learn More about The Be Kind People Project®