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In a recognition ceremony held at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover on Dec. 7, 2013, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Rick Geisenberger presented awards celebrating the work of 1,164 students from 22 schools across the state who took part in the 2013 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition. Over the past 12 years, more than 9,000 students have participated in the program. Delaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787.
Sponsored annually by Delaware’s secretary of state, the competition encourages students to study the Constitution and to discover Delaware’s role in its writing and ratification. The students’ observations are presented in a four-panel display format that incorporates prose, poetry, artwork, songs and political cartoons. Each display is reviewed for factual accuracy, spelling and creativity.
The theme for the 2013 competition was the ratification process as outlined in Article VII as well as a commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the nation’s adoption of the Constitution. That event occurred on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish the Constitution as the law of the land.
Each of the competition’s winning schools was recognized with a Signer’s Award named for one of Delaware’s five signatories of the U.S. Constitution. The Signer’s Awards for the 2013 competition are the George Read Award (tie) to the William C. Lewis Elementary School and Jill Szymanski’s class at Brandywine Springs Elementary School; the Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award (tie) to Brader and Gallaher elementary schools; the Jacob Broom Award to the Learning Express Academy; the John Dickinson Award to Booker T. Washington Elementary School and the Richard Bassett Award to Blades Elementary School.
Honorable-mention awards were presented to Brandywine Springs, Bunker Hill, East Dover, Jennie Smith, Leasure, Lord Baltimore, Mount Pleasant, North Dover, North Star, Oberle, Sunnyside and Wilson elementary schools; Caravel Academy; Christ the Teacher Catholic School; St. Edmond’s Academy and St. John’s Lutheran School.
The 2013 Delaware Day Student Competition was planned and organized by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Curator of Education Madeline Dunn in tandem with Tammy Stock, chief community relations coordinator, and Desiree Williams, administrative specialist, for the Department of State. Division-staff participation in the competition included service as judges of the student-developed projects, development of awards certificates and printed materials, set-up of the awards-program location and staffing at the event.
Go to the following for a Flickr photo set about the 12th Annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition Awards Ceremony. Go to the following for information about Delaware’s signers of the U.S. Constitution and a Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings associated with the signers.