Our kids need this contest.
I’ve discovered another writing contest: Holocaust Museum & Learning Center’s Student Art & Writing Contest. I stumbled upon this contest as I was researching for a recent post on Medium.com about the lack of Holocaust literature in Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum. I have reblogged that post here.
According to the St. Louis-based museum’s website, “The Art & Writing Contest is a wonderful opportunity for young people who have visited the Museum or studied the Holocaust in their classrooms to respond creatively to what they have learned.” The contest is considered an “important outreach program” that is “dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust.”
Age: There are two divisions for both the art and writing portions of the contest. Students may enter one entry in each category. Division 1 includes grades 6-8; Division 2 includes grades 9-12.
Topic: Students are asked to write about the difficult and inspiring lessons of the Holocaust. Topics may include: acts of courage and heroism; resistance and rescue; indifference and its consequences; persecution, intolerance and injustice; preserving humanity in situations of great adversity; history and lessons of the Holocaust.
Skills Addressed: Students must exhibit Research, Creativity, and original and accurate Interpretation of Sources. Judges are looking for: content, originality, and quality of expression and accuracy.
Mentor Texts: I have emailed the organizers to find out how files of past winners can be shared for student review. When I find this information, I will update this post. Check back soon!
However, there are some excellent links on the sidebar of this page that provide a Holocaust timeline, nearly forty Holocaust-related terms, common questions, and recommended readings (a solid list plus links to useful websites). Click on Classroom Activities to see a list of documentaries the museum recommends students see before visiting the museum. These would also provide prior knowledge before writing an essay or narrative.
Length: Entries may not exceed 1,000 words. Works must be double-spaced. Use paper clips, not staples.
Deadline: There is no deadline or timeframe currently shown on the contest website, not even for last year’s contest, but I have emailed the organizer to find this out. I will update this post when I receive that information.
Prizes: There are cash prizes and certificates awarded. The organizers also display winning entries in the museum theater. Last year, first through third place in the middle school division won $300, $200, and $100 respectively. Two honorable mentions were awarded $25 each.
How to enter: Submit three copies of your paper-clipped entry. Do not exceed 1,000 words. Mail entries to: Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146.
For more information: Here’s a phone number for the museum is (314) 442-3711. A contact name for Dan Reich is posted on the website also with this email address: DReich@JFedSTL.org. A phone number for Mr. Reich is also posted: 314-442-3714.
I’m excited to have a Holocaust-themed essay contest. Writing about this time in history will be a plus for my students’ banks of knowledge about world history. Many students are not learning about the Holocaust today. See this post for more on that issue, including an important new study released in March.