“As a young person, I always liked history and
writing but was especially inspired by my 8th grade Social Studies teacher to
interact with history in a way I never had. We did incredible projects that
made history real to me and pushed me to do research for History Day on topics
I enjoyed, delving into research about people or inventions I wanted to know
more about. History Day inspires young people to look at the past with a
different lens and create narratives that make history relevant to their
lives. I loved History Day as a student and knew that I wanted to become a
teacher in the future. Now I am a certified Social Studies teacher, loving
that I have the opportunity to bring history to life for my students and get
them interested in the fascinating worlds of the past and present! History
Day was an essential part of my journey to becoming a teacher and to later
become a History Day Judge, giving back to the organization which helped spark
a love for history in me and a passion for sharing that history with others.”
NY History Day at Fenimore Art Museum
This year we are asking for your help in supporting this program and the students that attend the New York History Day Competition held here in Cooperstown, New York at Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum campuses. Help us make this program accessible for more students and teachers!
National History Day (NHD) is a year-long academic program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. Students who participate in NHD become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. More than half a million students participate in the program annually. Students engage in original research on historical topics, and compete with other students in local, regional, and affiliate or state contests, with the top students advancing to the national contest at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Since 1980 when NHD became a national program, Fenimore Art Museum has been the NHD host and coordinator for New York State. In 2018, approximately 13,000 New York students participated in History Day contests at their local schools. 1,980 students participated at the various regional levels, and over 500 competed at the state contest in Cooperstown. In addition to the students we also host their parents, teachers, and about 120 judges. Of these, 75 students from throughout the state went on to represent New York students and schools at the national contest.
How would your gift help?
*Make this competition an option for every student who wants to participate in History Day, not only for those with the financial means! Students pay a $25 entry fee and have to travel here at their own cost, which is expensive for many of our neighbors. We offer scholarships for students who need financial assistance to get here and present their projects.
*Provide meals and rule books for our 120 judges. The judges are all volunteers, and they pay for their own transportation and lodging to be here. They travel from all over the state to be a part of this competition! The rule books are something that we purchase from the National History Day organization.
*Provide National History Day program materials – including curriculum guides, theme books, and contest rule books – to participating judges, teachers, and students free of cost.
*Provide a t-shirt and tote bag to every student who attends the competition to commemorate their experience and hard work. The Fenimore also provides trading pins to the students who advance to the National History Day Competition. Students trade their pins and collect pins from all over the country!
*Help fund the rental spaces we use in Cooperstown outside of our campus to accommodate students presenting performance-based projects including one-act plays, songs, poems, and dance.
*Most states have a full-time staff person, or an entire staff, to run their state’s History Day competition. We run it from our museum! Some of the funds would be used for staff time as we do not have a position dedicated solely for the coordination and implementation of History Day here. The Fenimore’s Education Department staff time is used to reach and support new teachers who will involve their students in the New York History Day program, attend regional events and competitions to provide logistical support to local-level program facilitators and help them grow the History Day participation in their areas, develop program support materials to be made available for free on the New York History Day website or in print, and to attend professional conferences to promote the program to local government historians, librarians, teachers, and college-level educators who support student work and act as judges.
Thanks to a generous matching donor, all gifts received by Fenimore Art Museum from now until #GivingTuesday (December 3), will be doubled, up to a total of $10,000! This means your kind donation can make double the impact TODAY!!
Please consider making a gift today in support of Fenimore Art Museum’s New York History Day Competition.