Josie is headed to Washington, D.C.!
Last Saturday, she took first place in the junior individual performance category at the statewide National History Day competition in Columbia, Mo. Her project is titled “Frontiers in History: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.”
The national competition will be held June 11-15.
“I’m glad I was able to be there with my friends,” Josie said. “It was an exhilirating experience, and I was very surprised when I won.”
Josie’s not alone — several of her classmates at STEAM Academy Middle School either won special awards, or placed high enough to advance to Washington.
Josie has spent many hours researching, writing, editing, and performing her project. After advancing in her school and regional competitions, she traveled with her family to the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Ill., where she read first-person accounts of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and even handled a document from 1858 written by a Republican committee in Galesburg, Ill., in which they promised that “our champion [Lincoln] understands the ‘little dodger,’ [Douglas] and will no doubt pin him to the wall as he has heretofore.”
I drove Josie out to Columbia early on Saturday, and we stayed there until the evening. This was NHD’s first in-person competition in several years, and it was fun to see creative costumes and props as students crowded the halls waiting for their turns.
It was fun to walk the campus and the city. Besides seeing Josie compete and win, the next best part of the day was our visit to Cafe Poland. It’s a tiny place with authentic, homemade food that was even better than I hoped. I ate the bigos (stew with sauerkraut and meat), Josie had crepes, and we brought home some pierogies to share. One of my favorite all-time dining experiences.