MASON CITY — The North Iowa Civics Bee competition sponsored by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce was held in Mason City on Tuesday. The annual competition encourages local middle school students to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. They submit essays on how they would improve the community with 10 finalists being selected for a live quiz competition with five students then recapping their essays to a panel of judges.

Addie Burnett was the winner of the competition and tells KGLO News it was a challenging event.  “It was really nerve-racking, but I have always been able to talk to an audience, so that’s not the part I was worried about, but the questions really kind of took a toll on me, because I was guessing for most of them honestly. It felt good, I felt prepared, and I’m really excited to make it happen and I think it will be great.”

Burnett’s idea on improving the community would be to start a program where businesses in the downtown area would help put up lighting to make the area more inviting for future growth, an idea she’s already has been working on with leaders.  “When I working with all the lighting and stuff and reaching out to the Park Board, and talking with Lindsay James, I kind of got more of an idea of how all that works. I think it’s a good experience for anyone because it really helps with the understanding, the community, and how everything comes together.”

Burnett got the lighting idea while taking a ski trip to Breckenridge Colorado.  “I think a welcoming kind of good aesthetic could do so much more than it would seem at first glance, and when I was there, it just really made me feel very happy and good, which if you give people that feeling here, then you can have so much more business and community, and it will really bring people together, bring businesses together, and enhance what the community already has.”

For winning the Civics Bee, Burnett won a $500 cash prize and advances along with two others to the state Civics Bee, which will take place in August.

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