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High school students are ‘distinguished scholars’

Independent Record • April 6, 2005 • Helena

by Staff

Jon Ebelt IR Staff Photographer - Alan Jabbour entertains students at the Myrna Loy Center during the Montana Heritage Project Youth Festival Tuesday. Jabbour, one of the co-founders of the project, gave a presentation called ‘Falling in Love with Music and Heritage.’ Other events on the docket included recognition of distinguished project scholars, reading of the top essays and the presentation of other various awards.

On hand to congratulate the students and accept their work into the Society archives and the National Archives in Washington, D.C., were dignitaries from the Library of Congress, the Governor’s Office, the Montana Historical Society, the Office of Public Instruction, the Montana Committee for the Humanities and more than one hundred students from 11 high schools around the state.

Claire Stanfill from Bigfork won a $500 scholarship provided by teachers in the Heritage Project across the state for her essay, “Their legacy living through letters,” which analyzes and interprets a collection of letters written home from Vietnam by a Marine to his wife.

The second-place essay, “CRP on the Farm and in the Community,” was researched and written by Cory Hawks and Michael Woods from Chester High School, submitted by English teacher Renee Rasmussen. The essay explores the history of the Conservation Reserve Program and its effects on rural Montana.

The third-place essay was submitted by English teacher Dorothea Susag in Simms. “The Old North Trail” by Neah Parshall explores the history of the ancient trail along the eastern front of the Rockies used for centuries by the Blackfeet. Neah researched it through readings, site visits and interviews.

The essays were not submitted as part of contest, but were products of ongoing research being conducted by students in the Montana Heritage Project. Students in the project form research questions, conduct library and field research, and then create “gifts of scholarship” such as research papers or Websites that benefit the community.

In addition to a scholarship for the top essay, the top team of four student researchers will be selected as ambassadors to the Library of Congress.

They will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to report on the project and present their research to Librarian of Congress James Billington.

The Montana Heritage Project is the high school outreach program of the Montana Historical Society. This year’s Youth Heritage Festival is a celebration of the project’s 10th year. It is funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey
on 04/18 at 02:41 PM
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