Students at St. Peter of Alcantara are showcasing their love for American history through the written essay form.
Several of these student writers in grades 5-8 were recognized at a recent afternoon awards assembly sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Some presented essays on patriotism. Of these, four wrote about unsung heroes in American history. Dylan Strang (5th grade), James Vernice (6th grade), Julia Caccavo (7th grade) and Olivia Moss (8th grade) each offered detailed analysis of a citizen whose bravery helped shape our nation's destiny.
In addition, two authors focused on the perspective of what the American flag means to them personally. Kaitlin Caginalp (5th grade) wrote about how the flag symbolizes a free land where anything can be achieved. Jane Sanders (6th grade) shared poignant observations of how the flag is still flying at her grandparents' Breezy Point residence, a steadfast reminder of the patriotic spirit that shaped her family's long history in that seaside neighborhood.
The writers were inspired by St. Peter's teacher Mrs. Donna Serpico, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, whose passion for history, many say, is remembered by her pupils long after they graduate from St. Peter's. Serpico is also an active member of the Daughters of the Founders and Patriots of America.
The St. Peter's students read to a crowded luncheon gathering at the Manhasset Public Library. Hosted by Dr. Joanne Grasso, Regent of the North Riding Chapter of the National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution, the event recognized the literary talents of the history essay winners.
Among the prize offerings presented to each student were award certificates, flag pins and historical memorabilia. The Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women's volunteer service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. The American history essay contest is open to students in public, private, parochial and registered home-study programs. Contest instructions are published online and sent to schools by participating DAR chapters. Essays are judged for criteria including historical accuracy, originality and adherence to topic.