Teachers can find entry materials at http://www.365black.com/. Students are eligible to become an All American Achiever through submitting an expository essay, written by the student and submitted by his or her teacher, answering questions about the student's academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and community citizenship. Teachers score and submit the classroom's essays for consideration. A panel of judges, including educators, and actor and longtime education activist Harper, will select the grand prize winners from the highest scoring essays submitted.
"It's great to see McDonald's is leading the path and shaping the next generation of leaders. We need to keep our students encouraged and motivated now so they can be prepared for the future," Harper says.
Essays will be judged by scores submitted by teachers, who will assign students points for demonstrating McDonald's All American Achiever characteristics, such as abiding by school rules and having perfect attendance as of the date of entry. The judges will select the 100 highest scoring essays from which they will identify one Grand Prize 7th grade student essay and one Grand Prize 8th grade student essay.
Entry materials are being sent directly to teachers in 19 metropolitan areas, including: Atlanta; Baltimore; Birmingham; Charlotte; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Jackson, Miss.; Los Angeles; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale; Memphis; Norfolk/Portsmouth, Va.; Orlando; Philadelphia; Raleigh/Durham; San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and St. Louis.
Entries are due December 8. Winners will be announced on or about January 30, 2009, and Grand Prize winners will receive a $500 American Express gift card and a new laptop computer. The remaining 98 finalists will receive a $250 gift card. Teachers who submit the winning essay will receive $500 to purchase supplies for their classroom and the winners' corresponding schools each receive a $2,000 check.
"The All American Achievers program gives McDonald's a unique opportunity to celebrate the academic accomplishments of youth in the African American community, as well as acknowledge teachers for the important role they have," says Carol Sagers, director of marketing, McDonald's USA.