National History Day is a year-long program that enables students to investigate and explore historical events while building critical thinking, research, analysis, and presentation skills. Here in Philadelphia, the competition begins with National History Day Philadelphia in March, when hundreds of middle and high school students in Philadelphia present their research in the form of essays, presentations, websites, documentaries, and more. Winners progress to the state and perhaps even national level competition.
The theme for the 2014 National History Day is “Rights and Responsibilities,” and local cultural institutions like the National Archives at Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and many more have supported Philadelphia student researchers by compiling lists of resources, providing mentoring and research assistance, and creating professional development materials for teachers.
For many local students, however, finding the resources and supplies to be able to participate in National History Day can be a challenge. To help raise funds for presentation boards, paper, markers, glue, photocopies, CDs, DVDs, and more basic supplies, the National History Day Philly group has set up a fundraiser at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/be-a-hero-to-1-000-students-support-national-history-day-philly. Individuals interested in supporting students in gaining a love of history are encouraged to donate before February 2.