2008 10th GRADE ESSAY CONTEST

Onslow high schooler awarded for essay on county government

An Onslow County High School student and English teacher each won $500 for submitting the winning essay in the 2008 County Government Essay contest, sponsored by the NCACC as an initiative of the strategic goals team charged with informing and educating the public and the media about county government.

Onslow County High School student Shanae Reed, right foreground, and her 10th grade English teacher, Tabitha Dickerson, pose with Onslow County Commissioners (from left to right) Paul Buchanan, Martin Aragona Jr., Lionell Midgett, Delma Collins and Jack Bright following a presentation at the Board of Commissioners meeting Oct. 6. (Photo by Todd McGee)

Shanae Reed, currently an 11th grader at Jacksonville High School, and her 10th grade English teacher, Tabitha Dickerson, each won $500 in the contest, held in conjunction with the Association’s year-long centennial celebration.

“In 2004, the Association Board of Directors adopted five strategic goals to carry us into our second century of existence,” said NCACC Deputy Director Patrice Roesler. “One of these goals is to inform and educate the public and the media about county government.”

Students were asked to write a 500-word essay on “How does my county government improve the lives of its citizens?” The statewide contest was open to all 10th graders in North Carolina public schools.

Reed and Dickerson each received their checks during the Oct. 6 Board of Commissioners meeting.

“We want to thank Tabitha for encouraging her students to learn more about their county government, and we want to congratulate Shanae for winning the essay contest,” said Roesler, who presented the checks.

The Association plans to sponsor the essay contest again in 2009.

How does my county government improve the lives of its citizens?

I live in Onslow County and there are numerous ways that my county government improves the lives of its citizens. Some of the ways they do that is by providing employment opportunities and educational opportunities for the children of Onslow County. These services that are provided improve the lives of the Onslow county citizens by giving them the opportunities to better themselves. I feel that the three main things my county government does to improve the lives of its citizens is provide the Health Department, Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Libraries.

The Onslow County Health Department improves the lives of its citizens in a number of ways. It provides immunizations, physicals and check-ups at little or no cost. Some other things it does are provide community services, educational classes on pregnancy and information on the prevention of diseases. By providing all of these services to the people of Onslow County it improves their lives by making information a lot easier to attain and making medical care a lot more affordable. The mission of the Onslow County Health Department is to “provide comprehensive public services that protect, promote, and preserve the health of its citizens,” and it does just that.

The Parks and Recreation Department of Onslow County improves the lives of its citizens. It offers programs like baseball and basketball for all ages. The Parks and Recreation department also provides bike trails, Boys and Girls Clubs, and public beach accesses. The bike trails range from twenty to fifty miles. They improve the lives of Onslow County citizens by providing them with safe off-road places to ride their bikes. The sports programs and Boys and Girls Clubs improve the lives of the Onslow County youth by keeping them off the streets and by providing them with something productive to do. The public beach accesses improve the lives of the Onslow County citizens by providing those who would ordinarily not be able to enjoy the beach that opportunity.

The last main thing that I feel Onslow County does to improve the lives of its citizens is provide Public Libraries. The Onslow County Public Libraries provide free internet, computer use, and book checkouts. The only thing you must pay for are late fees and printed pages. The Onslow County Public Libraries also provide a quiet environment for getting work done. These services improve the lives of the Onslow County citizens by providing them services that may not be accessible or affordable to them for free.

In conclusion Onslow County doesn’t praise one of its departments over another. Whether it be providing employment opportunities or public libraries Onslow County does its best to improve the lives of its citizens. In all that it does Onslow County does its best to provide safety and privilege to its citizens. No one department stands out more than another. All together each department improves the lives of the Onslow County citizens in a different way.