National History Day team headed to state competition
Published 3:09 pm Thursday, March 6, 2014
The Sam Adams National History Day team of Kennedy Brooks, Taylor Herwick, Madison King, Anna Leach and Otto Reick IV won the Performance Division for fourth- and fifth-grade students in district competition Saturday in Kalamazoo.
The team advances to the state competition in Lansing on April 26.
National History Day makes history come alive for students by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural and social experiences of the past. This year’s theme was Rights and Responsibilities. The team chose to perform a play based on the Kentucky Raid of 1847.
Since the NHD rules limited the team to five performers, and the play to 10 minutes, this presented many challenges.
Taylor Herwick played four different roles; Quaker Josiah Osborn, Kentuckian Jack Graves, Quaker Stephen Bogue and Judge Ebenezer McIlvain.
Anna Leach is a descendent of the Bonine and Bogue families, and so it was only fitting that she play Mary Bonine and Susan Bogue. Kennedy Brooks played a fictional freedom seeker named Henry, while Madison King played Henry’s wife Mamie. Kennedy also played the parts of Henry Shepherd, a freedman and conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Perry Sanford, a freedom seeker who escaped the raid on the cabin at the Bogue Family farm by going through the roof.
Otto Reick played Kentuckian Rev A E Stevens. Otto especially enjoyed visiting the Cass Historical Library, where many primary and secondary sources could be found. Day
The team is sponsored by teacher Felomina Patton, coached by Ruth Andrews of the Underground Railroad Society, and given research assistance by Kelli Thammavongsa, a senior at Western University who is interning with the Underground Railroad Society.
The team began working on their project in October, meeting twice weekly afterschool and on Saturdays. Participating in the district competition in Kalamazoo allowed students to learn from each other.
The team is grateful to the many parents and volunteers, who assisted them, and the United Presbyterian Church for donating rehearsal space.