Do the Write Thing (DtWT)


Sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education Prevention and Student Services and the National Campaign to Stop Violence, the Do the Write Thing Challenge offers seventh and eighth grade students an opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives and to communicate in writing what they think should be done to prevent this type of violence. The Challenge emphasizes personal responsibility by encouraging students to make a commitment to take positive steps to change the problem. Ultimately, the program strives to help students break the cycle of violence in their homes, schools and neighborhoods.

How the Challenge Works

The Challenge kicks off in September each year. All seventh and eighth grade students in Utah are invited to participate.

  • Classroom Discussion
    • Begin in September.
    • Teachers are encouraged to make the Challenge a part of regular classroom instruction.
  • Writing Assignment and Entry Submission
    • 2023 Entry Deadline January 13, 2023
    • Students complete an essay or poem and teachers submit all writings from each class period for the competition.
  • Judging and Selection of Winners
    • College students from throughout Utah will conduct initial reviews and select State Finalists.
    • Two writings per participating school will be selected as State finalists.
    • A panel of VIP judges will evaluate the top 24 entries, 12 boys and 12 girls from across the State, to select two runners-up and two “National Finalists” or “Ambassadors.”
  • State Awards Luncheon
    • April 2023. (Specific date and location to be determined).
    • Contest finalists, their teachers, and parents will be invited to attend an awards luncheon where national finalists will be announced.
    • National finalists, along with family members, will be invited to attend and stay overnight at the 2023 Promising Youth Conference scheduled for the 2nd week in May at Snowbird, Utah.
    • National finalists will be recognized at the May or June Utah State Board of Education Board meeting.
  • National Recognition Week
    • July 2023 in Washington D.C. (Specific dates will be determined)
    • The national finalists, their teacher, and parent will participate with winners from across the country at the National Recognition Week.

2023 Instructions and Lesson Plans

The Office of the Governor and the Utah State Board of Education Invites You and Your Students to Participate in Utah’s 23rd Annual Do the Write Thing Challenge
Governor Spencer J. Cox, State of Utah


2022-2023 Utah’s “Do the Write Thing” Challenge Instructions for Classroom Teachers

2022-2023 Do the Write Thing Challenge Teacher Registration

Sample Curriculum for Teachers

Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the Challenge into their regular classroom curriculum. Ideas for the classroom could include:

  • English: Use as an essay or poetry-writing assignment;
  • Health: Discuss personal safety and well-being of others;
  • Civics: Conduct an exercise on personal and civic responsibility;
  • History: Use a historical perspective to examine youth violence.

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: Do the Write Thing Sample Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 2: Lesson Plans on Violence

Lesson Plan 3: Essential Elements of Service-Learning


Do the Write Thing Program
National Campaign to Stop Violence

Utah’s Students Who Accepted the Challenge

Do the Write Thing is not about winning a prize. It is an essential part of a long-term strategy to help students and adults better understand each other and work together to prevent youth violence.


Cuong Nguyen
Prevention Specialist
Phone: (801) 538-7790 | E-mail

Tina Morandy
Executive Secretary
Phone: (801) 538-7526 | E-mail