Our Lake Today: National History Day celebrated at CMS

Mr. Hendon’s zero hour class works on their special projects during National History Day.

Mr. Hendon’s zero hour class works on their special projects during National History Day.

National History Day (NHD) makes history come alive for students all across America. It makes history come alive with different cultures and past historical events. Through hands- on experience it brings a great time. NHD is very mandatory and requires projects that are related to a specific historical topic. NHD inspires students to learn more about history through presentations and projects to enter in the competition.

A little history for your brain in case you were wondering about NHD. NHD started as a small competition in Cleveland, Ohio in 1974. Students in Cleveland gathered on one day to devote that day to history. Through the next few years it began to grow extensively. And it began to grow out of Ohio to the whole United States. In 1980 it became a national organization and moved its headquarters in 1992. The name remained the same. It now holds year-long programs and activities for students in sixth grade all the way up to 12th grade. The motto for NHD is: “It’s not just a day, it’s an experience.” It’s a non-profit organization with the purpose to teach the basics of the arts of research. Its headquarters currently are at University of Maryland, College Park.

NHD in Camdenton has been going for the last two years. It has been playing a role in the advanced social studies classes. Mr. Matt Hendon, a social studies teacher in the Camdenton Middle School, made it a requirement in his advanced history class last year. They participated in the regional competitions because their projects were very well done. As Mr. Hendon put it, he wasn’t expecting them to do real well. But at regionals they received one first place, two third places, one fourth place, one fifth place, and one seventh place. They moved to state but they did not do as well as they had done at regionals. As a teacher, whether they won anything at state or not, Mr. Hendon was very proud of his students. They worked hard and that’s all that matters.

The actual researching these students do is phenomenal. The research they do is collegiate level. They work extremely hard to create projects and presentations that are worthy to present in competition. Their day starts earlier than most they come in at 8:10 in the morning to work and learn. These working skills help prepare for the future. These students learn these skills while they are in seventh and eighth grade. It prepares them for high school along with college. While other students, who don’t learn these skills in middle school, may struggle. These students, who are prepared, are ready to take on the future.

Even though NHD has only been in the Camdenton district for the last two years, it has proved very beneficial. For a small community such as ours it gives students a great educational boost. It helps to get scholarships for college and helps them to be ready. Many teachers would tell you what a great learning process it is. It prepares Camdenton Lakers for college and for life.

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