Kyla Chandrakasem, center, accepts awards for the American History Essay Contest, sponsored by Daughters of the American Revolution. Presenting the awards are Miranda Cassell, left, American History Committee Chair with Rainbolt Mountain Chapter NSDAR, and Christie Moore, Honors English Language Arts teacher and Kyla’s sponsor. Finley Koswoski (not pictured) is the winner of the Excellence in American History Award. CONTRIBUTED

Chandrakasem, Koswoski excel in DAR essay contests

MADISON – The Rainbolt Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution or DAR has announced award winners with their American History Committee.

The chapter-level American History Essay Contest Award winner and the third-place, state-level American History Essay Award winner is Kyla Chandrakasem. Kyla is an eighth-grader at Journey Middle School and a member of Girl Scout Troop 21210. Kyla is an advanced student participating in both Honors English and Math classes.

The DAR American History Essay Contest is for all students in grades 5-8, including those in public, private, parochial and homeschool programs. The prompt for this year’s contest asked students to put themselves in the point of view of a newspaper reporter listening to John Philip Sousa’s march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” for the first time in 1897. The prompt for this contest changes each year.

The Excellence in American History Award winner is Finley Koswoski. Finley is a senior at James Clemens High School. She is a member of Girl Scout Troop 926.

Finley was recommended for this award by local historian John Rankin. Finley earned her Gold Award by working with Rankin and the Madison Station Historical Preservation Society on a project to document historic sites in Madison City for a mobile app called Pocket Sights.

This app allows visitors to Madison’s historic area to take self-guided tours. Finley’s project has been featured in “The Madison Record” newspaper, “Madison Living Magazine,” the City of Madison website, WHNT News 19, WAAY 31 News and WAFF 48 News.

The DAR Excellence in American History Award is given to students who demonstrate an interest in American history that goes beyond their classroom curriculum. This award is non-competitive. More than one student may receive this award in one program year.

To learn more about the Daughters of the American Revolution or DAR, visit dar.org.

To learn more about the full range of student programs and the Rainbolt Mountain Chapter of DAR in Madison, visit rainbolt-mountain-dar.org.

To learn more about Girl Scouts, visit girlscouts.org.

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