Shuman Student Wins National Writing Contest

Seeds of greatness have definitely been planted at Shuman Elementary. The elementary school produced yet another contest winner who participated in the Dear George Washington Contest. This annual writing contest is for Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools and brings history to life by introducing students to issues facing early Americans and encouraging them to think critically about the founding of the nation.

The contest was held for grades 2-5 which allowed for great collaboration between the Social Studies and Language Arts classes. Each student wrote a letter to George Washington highlighting social issues during his presidency. They had to create and proof read their letters with as little teacher involvement as possible. All letters were required to be between 250-300 words in length. There were three entries that made their way to the national contest.

Second grader Rashawn Wilson won second place. His letter was from the standpoint of a young man and his uncle who were in need of medical care. In his letter, he lobbied for the building of new hospitals to help the injured or sick. Teacher Janeen Macabee took an instrumental role in helping the students develop their ideas into letters. “I was surprised at first,” said Macabee. “It was such a large pool of candidates, so I was very proud to know that Rashawn had won.” Wilson won a $75 gift card.

He was recognized at Shuman’s Black History program in front of the student body and members of the community. The school also received: American History: An Introduction, a multimedia resource including ten American history units, posters, and a CD of poems and songs for the classroom A set of American history books to supplement the history curriculum. Included is a signed copy of Gilder Lehrman advisory board member Gordon Wood’s most recent book, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789- 1815 A copy of George Washington by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire for each of the school’s students who participated in the contest.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. For more information visit:

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