How do you live united?

That’s the theme of the fourth annual student essay contest sponsored by Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Star Tribune. To take part in this year’s contest, students in Grades 3 through 5 can write about what they do to help unite their families, classrooms, neighborhoods or communities.

Students should give examples of what they have done to put others first, make their neighborhood a better place to live or fight homelessness, hunger and discrimination. Teachers, parents and community leaders are encouraged to invite students to participate in the contest. Essays should be concise and inspirational.

Prizes, donated by U.S. Bancorp, will be awarded to the top 10 winning essayists, and their stories will be published in the Star Tribune.

Essay contest details

What: An essay contest for children in grades three through five. Submissions are welcome from families, community organizations and schools.

Theme: Essays should be no more than 100 words long and follow United Way’s “Live United” theme.

Deadline: Essays must be received by Oct. 11.

To submit: Send essays by e-mail to or mail them to Essay Contest, 404 S. 8th St., Minneapolis, MN 55404. Essays should include the student’s name, age, grade, address, phone number and e-mail address. Essays will not be considered without contact information; contact information will not be published.

Winners: The first-place winner will receive a $500 gift card from U.S. Bancorp. The nine runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card. All 10 winners will have their essays published in the Variety section of the Star Tribune on Nov. 9.

More info: Call the United Way at 612-340-7400. □