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Kanawha Valley DAR sponsors annual essay contest

September 14, 2018

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution urges students to put on their thinking caps and exercise their creativity as they consider the topics for this year’s two essay contests sponsored by the chapter.

The American History essay contest is offered to students in grades five through eight and the Christopher Columbus essay contest is offered to students in grades nine through 12.

The American History Essay Contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation’s great history and learn about history in a new light. Each year, a selected topic for use during the academic year is announced, and contest instructions are published online and sent to schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. The American History essay contest is open to students in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in a public, private, or parochial school, or those who are home schooled are eligible. This contest is conducted without regard to race, religion, sex, or national origin.

The title for the 2018-19 American History essay is: “The Women’s Suffrage Campaign.”

The topic: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the United States Congress on June 4, 1919, and was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920. This amendment granted all American women the right to vote and hold elective office. Many Americans at the time viewed this as a radical change to the U.S. Constitution. “Imagine you are living in 1919 while the women’s suffrage campaigns were having impact on Americans politically and socially.” The length of the essay for grade five is 300 to 600 words, and 600 to 1,000 words for grades six to eight.

The 2018-19 Christopher Columbus Essay Contest title is: “Comparing Ship Technology: The Ships Columbus Used Versus Ships of Today.”

The topic: The three-ship fleet of Christopher Columbus included two ships known as caravels, Nina and Pinta, and one larger ship which served as Columbus’ flag ship, Santa Maria. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these late 15th-century ships compared to the modern ships of today and how they would have been prepared for his voyage. This contest is open to all ninth-through 12th-grade students and the word count is 800 to 1,200 words, including a bibliography.

NSDAR partnered with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in 1996 to sponsor an annual national essay contest in honor of Christopher Columbus. The contest is open to students in grades nine through twelve. Each year the DAR and the NIAF agree upon a topic for use during the academic year, and contest instructions are published online and sent to the schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Judging at the national level is supervised by the NIAF.

Chapter winners and their teacher and parents are invited to the chapter’s March luncheon and 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 Winner s from Indiana, Kentuck y, 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.

For addition information, contact Kanawha Valley Chapter Historian Margie Turley at 304-344-8627 or margieturley1@aol.com. Deadline to submit essays is Dec. 1, 2018.

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