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New essay contest encourages students to write about historic preservation in their communities

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is hosting a Statewide Historic Preservation Essay Contest for West Virginia's eighth-grade students.

This year's contest and scholarships are sponsored by CONSOL Energy. The theme is Endangered Historic Properties in Your Community.

All eighth-grade students are invited to submit an essay with photos identifying a historic endangered property in their community or county. Properties must be at least 50 years of age or older (age requirement to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places). Properties can include houses, commercial buildings, downtown buildings, churches, courthouses, schools, farms, barns, cemeteries, bridges, monuments, and landscapes. For full guidelines and an official entry form, visit http://pawv.org/studeteach.htm.

Students are asked not only to identify an endangered historic property, but also to develop their civic engagement through the use of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. They must research the historic significance of the property, describe current preservation efforts, devise a plan for adaptive re-use of the property, and submit their essay to a local decision-maker in their community.

This is the first historic preservation contest of its kind for West Virginia, and winners' essays will be published on the Preservation Alliance website and blog.

First-, second-, and third-place winners will receive a scholarship from CONSOL Energy and be invited to present a brief PowerPoint presentation during the annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet in September 2014 (date to be announced) in Huntington, W.Va. Only three winners will be chosen for the entire state. Cash prizes are $600 for first place, $300 for second place, and $100 for third place. Each winner, his/her parent/guardian, and a local decision-maker will receive free dinner and entry to the awards banquet.

Submissions are due via mail or email to Preservation Alliance of West Virginia by March 14, 2014. For questions, contact Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director, at dlapresta@pawv.org or 304-345-6005.

Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the statewide, grassroots nonprofit dedicated to promoting and supporting historic preservation in the Mountain State. For more information, visit www.pawv.org.