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Students win American history writing contest

Sarah Brown

Congratulations to Sarah Brown, 6th grade student at Thunder Bay Junior High School in Alpena.

Brown was Chief Shawano Chapter’s 6th grade first place winner in the 2019-2020 American History Essay Contest, The Voyage of the Mayflower, sponsored by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Brown also won first place at the state level and was invited to be honored at MIDAR Award Day in East Lansing that had been scheduled for March 31, 2020, until COVID-19 required the event to be canceled. This is the second year Brown has participated in the competition. She was the 5th grade first place chapter winner in the 2018-2019 contest.

Here are some excerpts from her 2019-2020 essay:

“September 5, 1620 — Dear Diary, Tomorrow I leave for the new world, on the Mayflower with Mr. Carver and his maidservant Dorothy. I am looking forward to this new adventure I am about to begin. I will be taking along all the following items I think I will need on my voyage. I have packed biscuits, salt, dried beef, cider, butter, oats, two pairs of shoes, sewing needles, skirt, bodice and two petticoats. Love, Desire.

Amelia Cameron

“November 9, 1620 –Dear Diary, There is land and this horrible voyage is over. Everyone on the ship is ready to explore our new home. This voyage has been very stressful. When my journey began in September, I thought I was prepared for what was ahead. If I could go back to the beginning, I would have changed the way I thought this voyage would have turned out. I did not realize how mentally and emotionally unprepared for this trip I was. I never expected to experience such hunger, cold and disease. I realize my new life will not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Love, Desire.”

Chief Shawano Chapter NSDAR also congratulates Amelia Ann Cameron, 5th grade student at Besser Elementary School in Alpena. Cameron is Chief Shawano’s 2019-2020 5th grade chapter level winner.

During the 2019-2020 American History Contest, Chief Shawano Chapter NSDAR received 33 entries from students in grades 5-8. Essays came from: Besser Elementary School, Thunder Bay Junior High School, Harbor Light Christian School in Harbor Springs, Great Lakes Academy, Petoskey Middle School, St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School in Rogers City, and a homeschooled student from Pennsylvania.

A three-person judging panel selects one chapter level winner for each grade. These essays are then forwarded to the State History Chairman Mary Kabat for state level judging. At both levels, essays were judged on title page completeness, historical accuracy, adherence to the subject, organization of materials, originality, interest, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and properly cited bibliography.

Along with Brown and Cameron, the 2019-2020 Chief Shawano Chapter grade level winners are: 7th grade — Jane Manthei, Harbor Lights Christian School, Harbor Springs; 8th grade — JJ Doyle Mahan, Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy.

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