The Center County Chamber of Business and Industry is hosting the local event for the 2023 National Civics Bee, according to a Monday news release.

The National Civics Bee is an initiative to encourage high school students to show and increase their understanding and appreciation of the rights and duties of American citizenship. CBICC is organizing the Center County Bee in partnership with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“Civic education can uplift and empower our youth by giving them the knowledge and confidence to fully participate as future leaders in their communities,” Greg Scott, CBICC President and CEO, said in a statement. “This competition is a fun and exciting way for students to express their thoughts and share their ideas about how our government works and our rights and responsibilities as citizens.”

High school students from public, private, charter, and home schools are invited to participate in a 500-word essay contest. The deadline for submissions is February 24.

Judges will select 20 essay winners, who will test their knowledge of civics by competing in a live quiz on April 17. Runner-ups and top winners will receive various prizes, including $1,000 for the first place winner. The top three finishers from the local competition will advance to the state competition.

For more information on the essay topic, contest rules and prizes, and to submit an essay, visit the Center County Chamber of Commerce and Industry website.