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ESK takes first at ‘National History Day’

Episcopal School of Knoxville eighth graders Kate Ballew, Dylan Rasnick, Olivia Smith, and Will Walker won first-place for their multimedia documentary at the National History Day state competition Saturday, April 5, at The University of Memphis.

Their audiovisual documentary, “Footprints in Time-Selma to Montgomery: Claiming the Right to Vote through an Act of Civil Disobedience,” will now advance to the National History Day competition to be held Sunday, June 15, through Thursday, June 19, at the University of Maryland.

The national history awareness program this year took the theme “Conflict and Comprom-ise in History” and weighed entries, which also included exhibits, performances, papers and Web sites.

The Episcopal School has participated in National History Day for three years, and each year the school has sent a team to the national competition in Maryland.

Kate first became interested in the Selma march following a family trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. In addition to extensive research of primary and secondary materials on the Civil Rights movement, Kate and her teammates interviewed Avon Rollins, executive director of Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Rollins was arrested more than 30 times for his participation in Civil Rights demonstrations, and he participated in the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.

The team also interviewed Margie Stewart, a participant in the first Selma to Montgomery march, and incorporated music that originated at the Highland Center, where Rosa Parks and other civil rights activists were trained. In addition to producing a compelling documentary on the Civil Rights movement, the Episcopal School team produced an extensive annotated bibliography and process paper as part of the competition.

Aimed at re-invigorating the study of history for teachers and students alike, National History Day involves more than two million students, teachers, parents, and volunteers from across the country each year.


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