Calling all teens! Now is your chance to put pen to paper (so to speak) and write an essay about being an American citizen. The press release sums it up best: “The top three student winners and their teachers from each of the nine geographical regions will be announced at a special Washington, DC, Awards Gala in the spring of 2011, where they will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 (first place), $1,000 (second place), and $500 (third place). The winning students will also explore the nation’s capital, meet contemporary American heroes and national leaders, and visit national landmarks.” The contest is the brainchild of the Bill of Rights Institute, an educational organization that focuses on teaching kids about the U.S. Constitution. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, December 1. For complete contest guidelines, visit BeingAnAmerican.org.