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 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

  • Filled out once for each student entry by a Teacher or Parent/Guardian
  • Goal is to have student identifying information, Father identifying information, school association and the submitted Essay Form
  • Requires a Google-enabled account to upload Essay Form
  • Watch the how-to video and visit the Entry Form.

Entry Form and How-To Video

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

  • Filled out once for each classroom or teacher.
  • Goal is to know how many student essays to expect from that classroom, contact information for teacher.
  • Watch the how-to video and visit the Entry Form.

Entry Form and How-To Video

School Registration

School Entry Information

Nearly a half million Illinois schoolchildren from hundreds of schools have submitted essays since we started in 1997. We’d be thrilled to have your school participate this year.

Steps for School Entry

  • Filled out by School Contact once for each school.
  • Goal is to know how many classes to expect, contact information for school & principal.
  • Watch the how-to video and visit the Entry Form.

Entry Form and How-To Video

School Registration (no file upload)

Steps for School Entry (alternate entry)

  • This is an alternative to the prior form that can be used if you cannot upload to the Google Drive location (no Google account or disallowed by your domain).  This form is filled out once for each student entry by a Teacher or Parent/Guardian
  • Goal is to have student identifying information, Father identifying information, school association and the submitted Essay Form
  • Send Essay form as an attachment to an email to essays@4dads.org 

Entry Form and How-To Video

FAQs

When is the deadline?

All forms must be submitted by midnight March 19, 2021.

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.

I don't have a Google account. How can I enter?

This video can help you set up a Google-enabled account.

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!