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Kanawha Valley Chapter Sponsoring Essay Contests

Nov. 01, 2013 @ 03:10 PM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution is sponsoring the NSDAR 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 essay topic for the 2013-2014 American History essay contest is: Pretend you are a boy or a girl during the colonial fight for freedom. Using historical fact, discuss how the war is affecting your life. The war dramatically changed the lives of children during the Revolution. Some actually followed their fathers into battle; others stayed home and assumed new responsibilities that were necessary for their families' survival. Imagine yourself in the place of such a child taking on important and often adult responsibilities. Describe some of the changes that are taking place in your life and that of your family as you face this new situation. You may portray either a historical child or a fictional child living in the era of the American Revolution.

The title of the essay, "The Lives of Children During the American Revolution," must appear on the title page. Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter and the chapter winners receive bronze medals, certificates and a monetary award. State and National winners receive special certificates, medals and a monetary award.

Since 1996, the NSDAR has joined with the National Italian American Foundation to sponsor an annual national essay contest on Christopher Columbus. The Christopher Columbus Essay topic for 2013-2014 is: Discuss the similarities and differences between the ways in which Christopher Columbus and George Washington dealt with and overcame the challenges and adversities they faced. What can Americans apply to their own lives from the experiences of these men?

Title of Essay (to appear on the title page): "How Do Americans View Christopher Columbus and George Washington Today?" Awards/Recognition to winners: Chapters winners receive a check and certificate and are eligible to compete in the State competition. At the state level, one Christopher Columbus essay is selected as the State winner and is presented with a check and special certificate and their essay is sent to the East Central Division State Winners from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

From the eight Division Winners, 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 2014 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 Sandra Cox at email address scox321@aol.com or Chapter Regent April Gardner at email address April_L_Gardner@yahoo.com by November 15, 2013.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is the Past Vice President General NSDAR and Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter/ Public Relations Chairman. She can be reached at SGilkeson@aol.com.

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