DAR Essay Contest

Registration forms are available at Lexington Public Library for the 2018-2019 Christopher Columbus Essay Contest, and for the 5 – 8th grade American History essay contest. Both are sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s Bonneville Chapter.

Bonneville DAR Regent Marge Bader said she has encouraged students to write about American History for 20 years. Getting students to write has been challenging due to a lack of time in student’s busy schedules, and not enough teachers encouraging students to write the DAR essays, she said.

“I am hoping there are some motivated students who love to write who can step up on their own and show their creative talents,” Bader said.

The annual Christopher Columbus Essay Contest is open to all high school students. The essay topic involves the three ships that sailed with Christopher Columbus’ fleet. Students submitting an essay are asked to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these late fifteenth-century ships compared to the modern ships of today and how they would have been prepared for their voyage.

The essay’s preferred format is typed on a computer using black type with a length range of 800 to 1,200 words. The suggested title is: Comparing Ship Technology: The Ships Columbus Used Versus Ships of Today.

The topic for the 5 – 8th grade American History essay contest is the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Essay writers are asked to discuss the pros and cons of this amendment, which granted all American women the right to vote and hold elective office, from the vantage point of someone living in the country in 1919.

Suggested essay title is: The Women’s Suffrage Campaign. Recommended word length is between 300 – 1,000 words for 6 – 8th graders and 300 – 600 words.

The deadline for both essays is Jan. 15, 2019. All essays must be submitted to a local chapter.

Judging for the Columbus essay will be based on historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of material, interest, originality, spelling, grammar and neatness. Essay must have a bibliography listing all references utilized.

Judging for the American History (Women’s Suffrage) essay will be based on title page, historical accuracy, adherence to subject, organization of material, originality, interest, spelling and punctuation, grammar and bibliography.

Locally, there are certificates for the top three winners in each essay contest, she said. Local winners are invited to attend the DAR meeting with their family, where they can read their essays, Bader said.

However, the Christopher Columbus contest selects only the top three winners in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 combined, Bader said.

 The National Winner gets a trip to Washington, D. C., $1,200 from the National Italian American Foundation in addition to paid lodging and transportation, she said.  The second place winner gets $500, and the third place winner gets $300.

In the “Women’s Suffrage Campaign”  essay contest for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders each class is given first, second, and third place awards . National winners will receive a monetary award.  Bader said first the essays are judged in Lexington, then the winners go on to the state contest, and then to national. Besides being the local chairperson for the essays, Bader is also the state chairman.

While some students enjoy writing, some students are willing to accept the challenge to research history and write about it, she said.

“We are so proud of the students who have been honored by the DAR.  Some of these students have achieved fantastic goals and will continue to be great leaders,” Bader said.

She continued, “We appreciate all that the schools and parents have done to encourage them.  Melanie Chesley (Lexington High School English teacher) had her students participate last year, and her students researched and found out so much more information about Columbus than we had ever learned in school.”

DAR supports patriotism, service, and education.  “Through these essay contests we hope to inspire the future leaders of our great county to think creatively, to be responsible, to help and encourage others to be good citizens, to be able to communicate and gain conflict resolution skills because “In God We Trust” that our government will continue for the good of all the people,” Bader said. 

 For more information on an essay contest or to turn in an essay, contact Marge Bader at 308-785-2111 or email mbader57@msn.com





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