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DAR essay contest for middle school, high school students

The Sarah Platt Decker Chapter in Durango of the Daughters of the American Revolution is again sponsoring two essay contests, one for middle school students and one for high school students.

Both contests address topics from American history.

The topic for the middle school contest, in celebration of the 275th anniversary of the birth of Paul Revere, is: “Memoirs of Paul Revere.” Contestants are asked to imagine themselves as Paul ,writing his memoirs and describing the various accomplishments for which he would like to be remembered. This contest is open to all students in grades five, six, seven and eight, in public, private or parochial schools, and to home-schooled students. Essays from grade five students should be 300 to 600 words in length; essays from students in grades six through eight should be between 600 and 1,000 words. Essays must have bibliographies listing all sources of information and be entirely the original work of the contestant. One essay at each grade level is selected as the chapter winner and forwarded to the state DAR American History chairman for the state competition. Winners at this level continue to the division and then the national level. The chapter winners receive awards of $25 and are asked to read their essays at the Awards Tea in February. Certificates and medals are presented to the winners of state and division competitions. The national winner receives a certificate, a gold pin, and a monetary award.

Since 1996 the national organization of the DAR has joined with the National Italian American Foundation in sponsoring annually an essay contest on Christopher Columbus. The 2010 essay title is: “Lessons from Christopher Columbus’s Life.” Essays should explore what can be learned from the life of Christopher Columbus to help us today to bring clarity to our decisions in the face of an uncertain future. This contest is open to all grade nine, 10, 11 or 12 students in public, private, or parochial schools, and to home-schooled students. Essays may be from 800 to 1,200 words in length, must be entirely the original work of the contestant, and must have a bibliography listing all sources of information. One essay is selected as the chapter winner and receives a cash award of $25.  The local winner advances to the state competition. The winner at this level and continues to the division and then national competitions. The national winner receives $1,200 from the Italian American Foundation as well as paid lodging and transportation to Washington, D.C., in October 2011 for winner and one parent or guardian. The winner reads the prize-winning essay at the Columbus Memorial in Washington on Columbus Day 2011. Second and third prizes of $500 and $300, respectively, are also awarded.

Deadline for submission is Dec. 1. Winners will be announced in January 2011. 

For further information about the essay contests and to receive detailed contest information, contact Lynn Constan, Regent of the Sarah Platt Decker Chapter of the DAR at regent.spd@hotmail.com, or 946 8480.