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History Contest Winner Could Wind Up the Loser

July 05, 1986

As a classroom assignment this past semester, my daughter and several other junior high students were given the asignment of entering the "History Day in California" contest. "History Day in California" is co-sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the state Department of Education and the California Historical Society and is a project of the California Council for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Imagine my pleasure when it was announced that a friend had won first place for her school, the county and the state of California. As a first-place winner representing the state of California, she is entitled to attend the National Finals at the University of Maryland, College Park, near Washington. What an honor for her, her family, the school, the county and the state!

Imagine my horror in finding that the winner of this competition has to provide his/her own transportation to both the state and national finals. The State of California is fortunate to have among its populace parents and students who are willing to forgo some future pleasures to finance the trip. Not everyone could afford this honor. Not only is it discriminatory, but it appears that the winner becomes the loser. Thanks but no thanks.

Remember this was not a contest that was entered by choice but an assignment. The state spends much on wayward youth. Why not reward those who truly deserve recognition? It seems as if the state and the sponsoring organizations should find some manner to make academic honors a winning experience by at least financing the trip and accommodations for the winners and their families.

If this assignment is given again next year, I hope the winner(s) can afford the honor.

MARTA EDDINGTON

La Palma

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