New York State History Day

The New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown is the sponsor of New York State History Day. 

Area students will be able to share the fruits of their research on a historical theme this Saturday at the regional New York State History Day competition held in Oneonta, several involved said.

The event sponsored by the Catskill Regional Teacher Center will take place at Bugbee School starting at 9 a.m., said Teacher Center director David Potter.

Students from Cooperstown, Cherry Valley-Springfield, Afton and Stamford Central Schools will be competing in a variety of categories on this year’s theme of “Leadership and Legacy.”

Some will write a paper, while others can create an exhibit, performance or documentary, Potter said.

Top winners in each category in the junior and senior divisions, will compete against their counterparts in the state competition held April 27 in Cooperstown. As a former teacher, “I’m looking forward to working with the students,” Potter said.

Cooperstown school librarian Michelle Hitchcock, is a co-advisor of the school team, along with seventh-grade social studies teacher John Brothertown.

About thirty students, mostly in middle school, have prepared entries, including a paper on Anne Frank and documentaries on Robert E. Lee and Claudette Colvin, an early civil rights activist, she said. The school has been involved in the program for a number of years. Not only does it provide an opportunity for students to develop research skills, but presenting their work to outside judges, provides them with lessons that can’t be found in the classroom, she said.

New York State History Day coordinator Sarah Loveland said competition in the 13 active state regions is already underway. Most schools start working with students in the fall, for competitions these month. The number one reason for students to get involved is “it’s fun,” she said. It also gives students a sense of accomplishment by teaching life skills including: scheduling, research with primary sources and learning.

The state contest is held at the Farmers’ Museum. Those who qualify will go on to the national event held June 14-18 at the University of Maryland.

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