Harrisburg Lancaster York
Four-Way Test Essay Contest

(Click here) 2013-14 Four-Way Test ESSAY Contest Information & Rules


Read the winning 2013 Essays!


Read the winning 2012 Essays!


Past Years:



The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?



The Four-Way Test Essay contest in District 7390 was initiated in 2006-07 by the Rotary Club of Mechanicsburg-North in the 9th grade at Cumberland Valley High School. The winner of their 2007-08 contest presented her essay at the District Conference and was well received.

The 2008-09 District Governor challenged other Clubs to have contests in their local schools and agreed that if multiple Clubs did have contests, he would have their winners vie for District honors and prizes. The Clubs responded and three prizes were awarded in 2009 and 2010 with the first place winners presenting their essays at the District Conferences.

Fourteen Clubs have already indicated their interest in sponsoring the essay contest in 2012-13. But why not every Club? Then every 9th grader in our District would know something about Rotary and our 4-Way Test. Think of the positive effect this would have on their lives, Interact Clubs, the public image of Rotary, and the future of Rotary. If your Club has not already indicated interest in the Essay contest for 2012-13, please contact District Chair, PDG Ben Hoover at bahii@comcast.net.


The goal is to have every Club sponsor a Four-Way Test essay contest in the ninth grade of each school District in their geographical area.
Think of the impact of having every ninth grader in our District preparing a Four-Way Test essay. By High School every student in our District would know about Rotary. Think of the positive impact on Interact Clubs, on the Public Image of Rotary, and on the future of Rotary.
  1. Agree to sponsor the contest.
  2. Identify and contact the lead English teacher for the ninth grade class(es).
  3. Review the contest rules on the District website:  www.rotary7390.org.  
  4. Appoint a committee to evaluate the best essays submitted by the teachers from each School District.
  5. Select the Club winner(s) and submit the first place essay(s) to the District office by April 4, 2014.
  6. Recognize the Club winners, parents and teacher(s) and award certificates/prizes.
  1. Display rules for the contest on the District website.
  2. Provide cash awards for the District winners.
  3.  Appoint a committee to evaluate the winning essays submitted by the Clubs and select the District winners. 
  4.  Invite the winners, their parents, and teachers to the District Conference where prizes will be awarded to the top three students and the winner will present the winning essay.
  5. Display the winning essays on the District website.
Some Specifics Concerning the Contest
  • Original & personal work of the student. (9th grade students only, signed pledge required)
  • No more then 1500 words, double spaced. (Specific administrative instructions attached)
  • Written in Microsoft Word format.
  • No graphics or high lighted text.
  • Must be available to be published in the press.
  • Must be approved by the student’s parents.
  • Critical dates established and followed by all concerned for the conduct of the contest.
  • Initial screening of nominated essays is performed by the local school English department faculty. The most competitive essays (6-12) are then given to the sponsoring Rotary Club for final evaluation. 
  • A committee of the sponsoring Rotary Club evaluates the essays in accordance with an established Evaluation Guide. (copy attached)
  • Finalists, parents, and teachers are recognized at a sponsoring Rotary Club function and awards presented.
  • Press release, with photo(s), passed to local press. 
  • The winning essay from each Club is forwarded to the District Office by April 4, 2014.



  •  A District-wide Four-Way Test Essay contest will continue in the 2013-2014 Rotary year.
  • The winning Essays from all participating District Clubs must be in the District Office by April 4, 2014 to allow sufficient time for District judging, notifying the winners, and listing their names in the 2013 District Conference program.
  • Monetary awards: First Place - $500, Second Place - $300, Third Place - $100
Four-Way Essay Contest District Contact:
PDG Ben Hoover
Tel(Home): (717) 854-2037
E-mail: bahii@comcast.net