by Betsy Natter

Our country has a long history of immigration and the current discussions over policies have kept it in the forefront of daily news. Now, Montgomery county students have any opportunity to delve into the history of the eastern Pennsylvania region and those who immigrated here over the centuries through participation in the Mennonite Heritage Center’s annual History Essay Contest.

The Heritage Center’s contest is held each year to promote student interest in history and how it relates to the region in particular. It is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in any private, parochial or homeschool. This year’s essay can be on any topic related to immigration, but must be tied to eastern Pennsylvania. The library, archives and staff at the Heritage Center are available as research resources and the use of primary source documents is greatly encouraged. The Mennonite Heritage Center is located at 565 Yoder Rd. in Harleysville, PA.

The contest theme was chosen to compliment a Heritage Center exhibit that will open in April entitled,
“Opportunity and Conscience: Early 18th Century Mennonite Immigration.” Essays examples could be what it was like to cross the Atlantic in the 18th century or the modern implications of the Statute of Liberty inscription. All submissions are expected to be well researched, properly cited and non-plagiarized.

All essays will be reviewed and prizes awarded for the top three submissions as follows: 1st place, $500, 2nd and 3rd places, $250 each. Entries must be electronically submitted or postmarked by April 1, 2017. Questions regarding the contest should be directed to Steve Diehl, Director of Advancement, at [email protected] or by calling the Center at 215-256-3020 x115. Visit the Heritage Center’s website to view the contest rules and download the essay entrance form.


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