Kids and teens - write an essay or draw a picture to win $300 worth of prizes in this contest!

photo of John George

"The Statue of Liberty and Immigration in America: Is America Still a Refuge for Immigrants?"

More than 100 years ago, France gifted the United States with the Statue of Liberty because the French viewed America as a beacon of hope and democracy. In 1883 the poet Emma Lazarus wrote the poem that is inscribed on the Statue's pedestal. The most famous lines, which refer directly to immigrants and refugees, are:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Middle and High School Students: Write an essay on the topic: "As you look at the issue of immigration in American today, how are the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazurus's poem still relevant?" (Open to all Oakland Public School Students - 500 page maximum)

Elementary School Students: Draw a picture that shows Oakland as a healthy place to live. (Must be a West Oakland Student - maximum size 11" x 17")

Each winner will receive $300 - in the form of a $150 gift certificate and $150 to open a credit union savings account. 

All entries must be received by Wednesday, May 17, 2017. EXTENDED UNTIL FRIDAY JUNE 2nd. 

Click here for the submission form or pick up at the West branch of the Oakland Public Library. 

The Awards Presentation will be Saturday May 27th at 11am at the West branch. RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 10th at 2pm. 

Co-sponsored by the Oakland Public Library West Branch, the John George Democratic Club, and the John George Educational Trust Fund. 

John George was Alameda County's first African American member of the Board of Supervisors, and a tireless fighter for health care, education, the rights of labor and poor people, a better environment, and peace and social justice. 


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West Oakland Branch

1801 Adeline Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone: (510) 238-7352