What does my mother mean to me?

For Irene Blore, the answer to that question was, “The world.” Her mother was the rock she clung to in all her decisions, she said.  One thing her mother always stressed, was the importance of education.

“Faith and the education of my children enhances the quality of life for everyone,” said Blore, the 1995 California Mother of the Year, of what her mother taught her.

As a living memorial to her mother, Blanche V. Edwards, Blore founded the Fifth Grade Essay Contest with American Mothers, Inc. in 2004. Each year since, American Mothers sponsored the essay contest for all fifth grade students or the equivalent, in the public, private, and home school environment. The contest theme is "What My Mother Means to Me.”

Fifth grade was chosen as the age for the contestants because that is an age when children have knowledge about writing and can begin to recognize all their mothers have done for them, said Blore. She hopes the contest encourages children to reach out to others and think beyond themselves. The contest rules were purposely set up so that the essay must be hand-written to allow children to set aside electronic devices when working on this project and be clear of distractions.

There has been a national winner every year since 2004. First prize for the national winner is $500. The essays are always poignant and reflective of the great love and care of the mothers of this country.

“Family structure is the most important foundation of our country,” said Blore. “It’s so enriching to see how many have contributed to this mothers’ tapestry.”

The Fifth grade essay contest runs each year beginning in August, with submissions due by the January 15th.  


4 comments (Add your own)

1. Betsy Lowe wrote:
This is a wonderful program supported by American Mothers Inc. to encourage children to share their story through a short essay. I wish every 5th grader in America took this opportunity to think about what their mother means to them, but also for their mother to hear those words of appreciation. Sometimes it takes a little spark to help us change the every day moments into special memories!

Tue, January 14, 2014 @ 2:33 PM

2. Nevaeh wrote:
Dear Tonia,

Hello, I'm a fifth grader myself, I do attend school, of course, and I did enter this contest myself. Unfortunately, I did not win, which is fine. I know that there was another student from my school who did enter this essay contest, and was a winner for this contest. I congratulated him, and congratulated others in advance for trying their best to prove to their mothers that they are capable of anything, including entering this contest. Thank you for your concerns! I'm sure that there will be two other essay winners as well.

Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 12:09 AM

3. G.P.Weatherford wrote:
I think this is a great idea for an essay contest.In all fairness there should be a "What Does My Father Mean To Me"? Don't misunderstand the fact that I DO indeed love my Mother very much and that she taught me many things,but I actually in many ways got along better with my Father.As a female he was my example of what a man should be like.My Dad wasn't perfect,no one is!! but, he was understanding and loving.I learned allot about life from him. My Mother had clinical depression, so many times it was difficult to get close to her.I feel in our society....that men are sometimes not noticed as much for what they do for their families.Their role as a Father is just as important.

Wed, November 12, 2014 @ 3:12 AM

4. wrote:

Sat, February 28, 2015 @ 10:53 PM

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