IFI Fatherhood Contest Details

It’s time yet again for the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative’s annual essay contest.  Since 1997, the IFI has presented this contest with the theme “What My Father or an Important Father-Figure Means to Me” reinforcing the importance of having dads actively present in their children’s lives.

Student Entry Form

Student Entry Information

All Illinois Schoolchildren are welcome to participate in our annual essay contest on “What My Father Means to Me.” Every participant will receive a special award certificate. 130 will be invited to our Faces of Fatherhood event and 12 finalists will be invited to our Fatherhood Celebration dinner.

Steps for Student Entry

  • Any Illinois Kindergarten through 12th grade student can fill out the entry form below by March 31, 2022
  • A Teacher or Parent/Guardian can then upload this Form on the Student Essay Submission Page

Teacher & Classroom Registration

Teacher & Classroom Entry Information

We are going digital! The essay contest can be used as a classroom assignment and can help foster better engagement of fathers, father-figures, grandfathers and step fathers in the education of their children.

Steps for Teacher & Classroom Entry

  • Have your students fill out the Entry Form
  • Submit your entries through the Teacher Essay Submission link by March 31st, 2022.
  • Up to 40 entries can be submitted at a time


When is the deadline?

All forms must be submitted by midnight March 31, 2022.

What will winners receive?

All entries will receive a certificate.  Semifinalists will receive special recognition through their schools and finalists will be invited to an awards celebration.

Who can help if I have trouble entering?

Please send any questions or issues to info@4dads.org.

I won last year, am I eligible to win again?

Congratulations. Yes, our readers (judges) do not consider previous submissions, but remember it should be different from last year and even better because you are now older. You may also choose to write another importat dad or father-figure in your life.

When will winners be notified?

Semifinalists will be notified in late April and Finalists in late May.

Can I still participate if my school does not?

Absolutely, though we ask that parents/legal guardians submit on behalf of children for security reasons.

my sibling already wrote about my dad, may I do so also?

Yes, write about your own relationship with your father. And both of you are eligible to win!