This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment and Tennessee’s important role in helping women gain the right to vote.

The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial and the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the First Lady’s Office, and the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office are sponsoring a statewide competition for grades K-12 to help students engage and reflect upon this momentous commemorative event.  It is the goal of this committee to have as many students and teachers learn about women’s suffrage and Tennessee’s unique role in the ratification of the 19th amendment.

This isn’t your ordinary essay contest.  The Battle for the Ballot competition is built around the inquiry-process of project-based learning and is designed to hit grade-specific standards through a multi-disciplinary approach. It has something for every grade level.  While analyzing the historical issues of the women’s suffrage movement, it is an opportunity for students to use their creativity, develop their communication skills, and win some really cool prizes. 

Competitions are:

•Kindergarten-2nd Grade: Banner and Slogan

•3rd-5th Grade: Poetry

•6th-8th: Public Service Announcement

•9th-12th: Documentary or Speech

Prizes for K-5 include an Apple iPad WiFi 32 GB for the top 3 winners in each category and the 6-12 grand prize winners will receive scholarship money in a TNSTARS 529 account. Scholarship monies have been donated by the following: the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, East Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Martin, Tennessee Tech University, the Secretary of State’s office, Middle Tennessee State University, Austin Peay State University, and the family of Randy Boyd. All winners will receive an invitation to be VIP participants in a centennial celebration in Nashville. Sponsoring teachers of student winners will receive a teacher gift card, as well as an invitation to accompany their winning student(s) to Nashville. 

To learn more, email or visit, which will offer information, curriculum resources, teacher workshops and events throughout the year.

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