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Kanawha Valley DAR sponsoring essay contests

Aug. 24, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter is sponsoring an American History essay contest for students in grade five through eight, and a Christopher Columbus essay contest for students in grades nine through 12 in public, private or parochial schools. Students who are home schooled are also eligible to enter. These contests are conducted without regard to race, religion, sex, or national origin

The 2012-2013 topic for the American History essay contest is: Focus on the often unrecognized people and groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and others who provided military, patriotic, and public service in support of the American Revolution. Describe a particular person or group and how they supported the cause for American Independence. Explain why it is especially important to honor the unsung heroes and often forgotten patriots. Title of Essay (to appear on the title page): "Forgotten Patriots Who Supported the American Struggle for Independence." Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter and the chapter winners receive bronze medals and certificates. State winners receive certificates, silver medals, and a monetary award. National winners receive special certificates, medals, and a monetary award.

The 2012-2013 topic for the Christopher Columbus Contest is: A century ago, in 1912, our nation dedicated a magnificent monument in Washington, D.C., containing the inscription: "To the memory of Christopher Columbus, whose high faith and indomitable courage gave to mankind a New World." How were high faith and indomitable courage demonstrated in the life and actions of Columbus, and how did they give to mankind a new world? Title of essay (on the title page): "How did the faith and courage of Christopher Columbus give to mankind a new world?

Each participant in the Christopher Columbus Essay Contest will receive a certificate and monetary award from the sponsoring Chapter. One Christopher Columbus essay is selected and a State Winner Certificate is presented, plus a monetary award. Division winners receive a Division Winner Certificate and a book. First-, second- and third-place national winners are selected after judging by the National Italian American Foundation. To qualify for first place, the winner must be able to go to Washington, D.C., in October to read his or her winning essay at the Christopher Columbus Celebration. The first-place national winner receives $1,200 from the NIAF in addition to paid lodging and transportation to Washington, D.C., in October for the winner and one parent or guardian. The second-place national winner receives $500, and the third-place national winner receives $300.

In the past, the Kanawha Valley Chapter has sponsored several national winners in these contests. We urge schools and parents to encourage students to participate in these contests. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness. Each essay must adhere to required word length, must have a cover page, and meet the required deadline. For further information, forms, suggested resources and deadlines for entries, please contact American History Chapter Chairman Debra Hanna at email address xyzwv@suddenlink.com or Chapter Regent Carol Linger at email address olinger@suddenlink.com by Oct. 15, 2012.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is an Honorary Regent in the Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.