Four students from East Clarendon Middle School have earned the opportunity to represent their school and state in a national competition in Maryland in June.
Emilee Welch, Kasey Wren Floyd, Laci McElveen and Carly Green have been working on their project since it was assigned to them in August.
“This year’s National History Day’s theme was “Rights and Responsibilities in History,” McElveen said last week. “We knew we had to follow those guidelines, and with all four of us being girls, we decided on the topic of women’s rights. To be qualified as history, our topic had to have taken place at least 50 years ago.”
Their project is titled “Women’s Rights Movement, A House Divided” and emphasizes a woman’s right to vote.
“We spent many hours in our school’s library researching and forming our script and we all spent many hours individually working on it at our homes,” McElveen said. “Even though it is a lot of work, we have all enjoyed working on it. I would definitely do it again if given the opportunity.”
At the regional competition in Lake City, there were 800 students competing for the Pee Dee Region title. Three winners from each category were selected to move on to the state competition. The four eighth graders placed first in their category guaranteeing them a chance to compete at the state level.
At the state level, 185 students competed for a chance to advance to the national competition in June. Only the first and second place winners were able to advance. With their second place at the state competition, the East Clarendon Middle School team advanced to compete at the national level.
“Moving on to the national competition is a huge privilege,” McElveen added. “We are all extremely excited to move on.” The judging included props, historical accuracy and content, significance of topic in history, written and oral presentations. They were limited to 10 minutes.
The four students built a jailhouse with doors that opened to show two women who were locked up for protesting. They built a fireplace with their pictures on them. Their costumes were all from that era and made by Green’s grandmother, Linda Mixon Blackmon.
At the state level, the ECMS students earned “superior” scores from the judges. Judges’ comments included, “Nice props and costumes.” “Good face time presentations.” “Presenters knew the history and the ‘so what’ answers.” “Chose roles to fit their own personalities.” “Understood the full history of the 19th Amendment.” and “Good alternating between performance and expositions.”
“With this being our first year working on a project of this magnitude, we didn’t even expect to move on to the state competition, much less place second and go to the national competition,” McElveen added.
Since their families are responsible for all expenses incurred for the four-day competition, the students and their families are holding various fundraisers to help pay for the trip. All donations will be divided between the four students to help cover the expenses of travel, motel accommodates, registration costs, meals and other necessities.
Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/8qge2c
Donations can also be dropped off to Sheri Sims at East Clarendon Middle School or mailed to Patti McElveen, 895 Pleasant Grove Road, Lynchburg S.C. 29080.