Aaron with his father, John Shapiro, his mother, Babette Vemel,
and his grandfather
Sarah at the Monday evening dinner with her teacher, Anne Dresser,
and her mother, Lynn Vitali.
A relaxed Aaron reads his winning essay.
Katy Hineline, chair of the essay competition, prepares to present
Aaron with his award.
A poised Sarah reads her essay. Both students rated much applause!
Katy congratulates Sarah, her English teacher Anne Dresser, and
her mother Lynn.
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
PO Box 39834 August 21, 2003
Phila. PA 19136-9534
Contact Norma Milner, publicity, 856-829-3142
Tom Davis, national meeting program chair, Fort Washington, 610-828-1650
Katy Hineline, contest chair, East Falls resident 215-848-0892
To interview Sarah Vitali, Yardley, call 215-295-2955
To interview Aaron Shapiro, Elkins Park, Cheltenham HS, call 215-635-3270
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (WITH TWO PHOTOS) Photos are forwarded separately
by email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCAL WINNING ESSAYISTS READ THEIR WORK BEFORE NATIONAL LEWIS
AND CLARK MEETING HERE
Two Delaware Valley students turned in prize winning 750 word essays
to the Philadelphia Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage
Foundation ( LCTHF) for its regional contest during Philadelphias
Bicentennial Commemoration of the historic trek.
Tom Davis, a member of the LCTHF board of directors and a member
of the Fort Washington School Board, was the program chair for the
35th annual meeting of LCTHF at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel (PSFS
Building) four days in August. The agenda included the essay contest,
trolley rides and walking tours designed to present a picture of
the City in 1803. Philadelphias contributions to the preparation
of Lewis for the journey were explored, and members visited local
institutions which archive the majority of major artifacts from
the exploration. The slate held 20 scholars and speakers from local
universities and institutions and from across the nation. Other
news of the meeting of Lewis and Clark fans may be found at www.lewisandclarkphila.org.
There were two divisions in the contest, one for middle grades
and one for high school. The winners were chosen from 63 entries
from 600 schools in the region that were invited to enter. The young
writers read their essays before 350 members and visitors from across
the country. Chapter President Bob Weir of the Scranton area presented
cash awards and certificates to the winners.
Pennwood Middle Schools 8th grader Sarah Vitali of
Yardley attributed her success to a wonderful English teacher,
Anne Dresser. Sarahs parents are Lynn and Greg Vitali. Her
favorite activity is reading, absolutely! Sarah also
loves singing and acting and being at the pool this summer. At Pennwood,
she appeared in several plays and musicals including the Music
Man, and Bye, Bye, Birdie. She has also written a play
of her own.
Cheltenham High 11th grader Aaron Shapiro of Elkins Park
swept the high school entries. In addition to being the junior editor
of the Literary Magazine at Cheltenham, Aaron plays the guitar and
drums with two bands. His teacher George Reim is described by his
family as an inspiring and fantastic teacher of the
honors American History Program at the school in Wyncote. He is
the son of John Shapiro and Babette Vemel.
Katy Hineline, a teacher at the Germantown Friends School was chair
of the essay contest. She and two others on her committee, Tom Brady,
a social studies educator at Lamberton High School in Philadelphia,
and Nancy Davis, of South Philadelphia, co-chair of the national
meeting devised and conducted the contest.
The contest challenged the students to plan a journey to an unexplored
part of the world today and compare the equipment and supplies that
Meriwether Lewis bought in Philadelphia in 1803 for his expedition
with what the student might take along now. The students were encouraged
to make use of the Chapters Web Winning site as
chosen by the Philadelphia Inquirer www.lewisandclarkphila.org
which offered resource materials. More ideas for teachers may be
found on the Chapters website.
Each writer was permitted to take ten items, five from Lewiss
list that the essayist thought would still be useful, and five from
todays vast choice of new inventions.
It was interesting that all of the finalists chose a GPS
or Global Positioning System as one of the new items they would
take, noted Hineline.
The contest instructions also asked the students to consider what
training Lewis undertook from mentors of the American Philosophical
Society. Then they were required to choose the training they felt
they would require today. Part of their challenge was to explain
and justify their choices. The essays were required to be typed
in Times New Roman font in Word 97 or Word Perfect 5.2 PC format.
Listeners were delighted with the poise and sense of humor with
which the essayists handled the readings. Vitali shared that her
mother had given her a bit of advice as she left the dining table
to mount the stairs to the lectern. Dont trip over anything,
especially if its expensive!
Aaron revealed that he had to write this paper to pass his
honors history course! Both readings went off without a hitch
and drew great applause from an appreciative audience, who came
from 35 states.
Following the readings in the Regency Ballroom of the Loews Hotel,
a distinguished panel of authors and university faculty wrestled
with the topic, Unanswered Questions? Whats Next in
Lewis and Clark Studies?
Landon Y. Jones, Time Warner editor for People and Money
Magazines, and author of an upcoming biography of William Clark,
moderated four panelists, novelist Brian Hall, author Stephenie
Ambrose-Tubbs (daughter of the late author Stephen E. Ambrose),
Barbara Oberg of Princeton University, and Michael Zuckerman of
the University of Pennsylvania.
A four year Commemoration of the expedition began in January, 2003,
at Monticello, Jeffersons home near Charlottesville, VA, where
he developed his dream of finding a Northwest Passage to the Pacific
and exploring the western reaches of the continent. It continues
across the country, following the Trail, through September, 2006.
You can follow the 15 Signature events planned for the
coming three years on the web site www.lewisandclark200.org/or
link to them through the local chapters web site www.lewisandclarkphila.org.