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History Essay Contest for Catholic Schools and Homeschoolers Grades 5-12 Runs Through March 23

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2016 -- Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., president of Catholic Textbook Project, the publisher of history textbooks for Catholic schools, confirmed the official launch of the company’s 2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic students in Grades 5 through 12. Contest submission deadline is March 23, 2016, and six separate contest divisions allow for six student winners. Each student winner will receive a cash prize ranging from $100 to $200 each. Catholic schools and homeschools benefit as well.

A $400 Gift Certificate for the company’s textbooks will be awarded to the Catholic school(s) attended by each of the three Catholic school student winners. The homeschool(s) of the three Catholic homeschool student winners will each receive a free textbook of their choice from among Catholic Textbook Project history textbooks. In addition, winning essays will be published on the Catholic Textbook Project blog and Facebook pages.

“We are very proud of this contest and of last year’s nearly 2,000 entries and the four 2015 winners and their schools and homeschools,” says Van Hecke, who is also headmaster at a Ventura, California-based Catholic school.

“Catholic students benefit tremendously from learning and studying how faith influences the daily lives and choices of human individuals throughout history,” Van Hecke continues. “These students are more likely to grow into leaders who understand the importance of living their Faith principles in all that they are called to do in their own lives and in the choices they make as they grow into adulthood.”

Catholic school teachers are encouraged to consider using the contest as a class assignment and, if so, to submit all essays at once.

This year’s history essay challenge requires students to choose a Catholic of historical significance and describe how this person influenced the times in which he or she lived. Although saints are a possible choice, the contest challenge is much wider and includes any Catholic historical figure.

Topic requirements for different grade levels differ. See contest rules and guidelines listed on the Essay Contest page ( Any form of plagiarism will not be tolerated.

“This History Essay Contest not only provides teachers and parents a useful tool to motivate their students to better research and learn about historical figures of note,” says Van Hecke. “It also underscores the unique difference that Catholic Textbook Project textbooks provide.

“Our textbooks present all of history and in addition they uniquely include—rather than ignore, minimize or worse—the major historical contributions by Catholics throughout 2,000 years of history," Van Hecke explains.  “The textbooks are well-researched for accuracy. They are written in an engaging, journalistic style, and they are beautifully laid out using all the benefits of the latest in graphic design, superior artwork, and more. As a result, our textbooks are highly praised even by university professors who tell us that studying from our textbooks put students ahead of their peers in understanding history.”

For more information on the 2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic students, grades 5-12, go to:

Contact: Karen Walker, media relations
                949.370.1442 // [email protected]

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