DAR honors Hollis Brookline winners in American History Essay Contest

The Anna Keyes Powers Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution announced that Errica Cheng, a Hollis Brookline Middle School student, is the winner of the American History Essay contest at the eighth-grade level and Connor Ramage, a student at Hollis Upper Elementary School, is the winner at the fifth-grade level.

The essay topic was “The lives of children during the American Revolution.” Essays had to be 600-1,000 words at the eighth-grade level and 300-600 words at the fifth-grade level.

Students were asked to write as if they were a boy or girl living during the colonial fight for freedom and to use historical facts to illustrate how the war affected the lives of children and families during this tumultuous time.

Errica’s winning essay was well researched, demonstrated a scholarly pursuit of excellence and was penned with style, grace and skill. Her believable journal effortlessly intertwined historical facts with a fictional account of a young girl experiencing the effects of the Boston Massacre, culminating in a heartwarming twist.

Connor’s convincingly written journal entries from 1776 personalized the experience of a young boy who is left at home to help his mother run the household while his father and older brother are fighting for independence.

Both winners were invited to the Feb. 11 DAR chapter meeting at the historic Wheeler House in Hollis, where their essays were read to an audience that included chapter members and parents of both recipients.

Also in attendance were Hollis Brookline Middle School science teacher Patty Smith, math teacher Teresa Rossetti and Errica’s history teacher, Laura DeRosa, the 2014 DAR Outstanding Teacher of American History for New Hampshire.

Susan Santoski, DAR chapter competition chairwoman, presented awards to Connor at this meeting, including the chapter-level bronze medal for excellence in history, the American History Essay Contest Certificate of Achievement, a personalized gift book, “The American Revolution” by Douglas Rife and Gina Capald, and a monetary gift.

Santoski presented similar awards to Errica at the Winter Recognition Assembly at Hollis Brookline Middle School in front of her peers and staff. In addition to the bronze medal for excellence in history, chapter winner certificate and monetary award, Errica’s awards included the personalized gift book “The Constitution: The Story of the Creation and Adaptation of the Most Important Document in the History of the United States of America” by Gerry and Janet Souter.

The essays will represent the Anna Keyes Powers Chapter in the state contest with 20 other chapters from New Hampshire. The national winner will be announced at Continental Congress in Washington, D.C., in July.