FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 23, 2013) — Students from around the Commonwealth will compete for recognition of their accomplishments in research and history at the Kentucky Junior Historical Society (KJHS) 2013 Conference and Kentucky History Day at the University of Louisville on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27.

KJHS is affiliated with National History Day, a yearlong academic program focused on promoting historical research by students in sixth through 12th grades. Students analyze the historical significance of their personally chosen topics and present conclusions in dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, websites and research papers. State winners have the opportunity to compete at the national level at the University of Maryland in June. The theme for this year’s contest is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.”


The conference begins Friday at 11 a.m. with speeches by Madeline Abramson and Attorney General Jack Conway about how students can use what they learn from history to improve their community and how the study of history can benefit the future. The weekend will culminate with an awards ceremony Saturday at 3 p.m. with a keynote speech delivered by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth about leadership, service to one’s community and why history matters.


Through KJHS, students gain valuable skills and make lasting connections with peers and educators, which will benefit them long after they graduate. Students also hone 21st-century learning skills of collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking that are advantageous in more than just the study of history.


“Students who possess higher-level critical thinking skills are more successful learners,” said Merrill Punke, a teacher at Henderson South Middle School. “These skills are emphasized in college prep classes, and these skills are what businesses look for when they seek out tomorrow’s leaders. Communication and collaboration are such an important part not only of education but of business and science.”


Kentucky teachers, KHS staff, KJHS alumni and volunteers serve as judges for projects in the statewide competition each year. In 2012, the KJHS Conference saw its largest participation to date with more than 600 students, representing 20 counties. This year, at least 550 students are expected to participate.


For more information, visit www.history.ky.gov/kjhs or contact Cheryl Caskey at 502-564-1792, ext. 4461 or cheryl.caskey@ky.gov.



An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.



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