More than 300 San Diego County students from elementary, middle and high school levels competed in this year's San Diego County Office of Education annual History Day competition. Student projects were on display for judging on Saturday, March 18 and the winners were announced Tuesday, March 21 at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre.
This year's theme, "Taking a Stand in History," challenged students to develop creative projects based on a historical event that was most significant to them. There were 116 entries from 11 districts that competed in categories, ranging from exhibits to documentaries, historical papers and performances.
The awards ceremony honored students from schools throughout the county for their exceptional work. Former California State Senator Dede Alpert recognized the winners and expressed the importance of history in today's curriculum. San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Rudy Castruita, Assistant Superintendent Nancy Giberson, and Senior Director Tony Spears were also in attendance to congratulate the winners.
Among the many winners was Oak Grove Middle School's reenactment of the landmark 1931 Lemon Grove Desegregation case, which was honored in the Best Junior Group Performance category.
The case, one of the nation's first civil rights cases, was made into an award-winning film, The Lemon Grove Incident, that aired on the Public Broadcasting System. The Oak Grove students, who are part of the Jamul-Dulzura School District, will also perform their reenactment at the Lemon Grove Historical Society's celebration.
All 55 winners from San Diego County will go on to compete at the state competition in Sacramento May 11-14 and if chosen will advance to the National competition in Maryland.
Twelve community organizations sponsored historical books, gift baskets and cash prizes to the winners.
The Museum of San Diego History and the Historical Old Town Community Foundation Cinco De Mayo Festival will showcase the work of several students in the coming months.