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President General Initiatives for 2013-2014: Partnering with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

II.a. Partnering with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
George Washington Portrait Program
(Opportunity for State Societies and Chapters)
 
Currently, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) offers a beautifully framed replica of Rembrandt Peale’s Porthole Portrait of George Washington.  Although MVLA makes this portrait available for free to elementary, middle and high schools, Mount Vernon is also asking for contributions to defray its costs associated with this program.  On MVLA’s website, there is a donor contribution form which allows donors to contribute a minimum of $275 to underwrite the cost of one of these portraits of George Washington.  Mount Vernon has graciously discounted the minimum donation to $250 for SAR State Societies and Chapters that participate in this President General Initiative.
 
From July 11, 2013 through July 15, 2014, every State Society or Chapter that coordinates with an elementary school, a middle school or a high school to have one of these beautiful portraits of George Washington hung in the school, as part of MVLA’s George Washington Portrait Program, shall be awarded an NSSAR streamer.  If a State Society or Chapter arranges to have a portrait hung in more than one school, for every school beyond the first, the State Society or Chapter shall be awarded a star to be affixed to the streamer.
 
For each portrait to be given to a school by Mount Vernon, an SAR State Society or Chapter must:
  • Coordinate with the principal of the school
  • Remit a contribution of $250 by or in the State Society or Chapter’s name to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, designating the school for which the contribution is made, and referring to MVLA’s George Washington Portrait Program:
Andy Morse, Development Department
Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
P.O. Box 110
Mount Vernon, VA  22121
 
Schools must:
  • Send a letter to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, signed by the principal and on school letter-head, requesting the George Washington portrait, and referring to the contribution from the SAR State Society or Chapter
  • Agree to hang the George Washington portrait in a very public, visible place of honor in the school, such as the main lobby or hallway, central office, library, or auditorium.
 
(If possible, try to send the State Society or Chapter’s donation to Mount Vernon in the same envelope as the school’s letter requesting the George Washington portrait.)
 
Accompanying each portrait is a George Washington Celebration Kit with suggested activities to commemorate the portrait’s dedication, as well as suggested lesson plans for classroom use.
 
Colleen Wilson, the NSSAR Director of Education, shall be the SAR point-of-contact on this PG Initiative.  Please send Colleen a copy of the school’s letter requesting the George Washington portrait and any other correspondence with Mount Vernon about this project.  Colleen shall keep track of which SAR State Societies and Chapters donate to Mount Vernon to facilitate a school’s acquisition of the George Washington portrait.  If you have any questions about this Initiative, please contact Colleen at cwilsonatsar [dot] org.
 
For the purposes of the Americanism Contest, a state society or chapter’s participation in this President General Initiative may be recorded in two of three different tabs on the Americanism Score Sheet.
 
  1. Tab 3, Section B has been amended to include specific language regarding a “presentation on George Washington in conjunction with the presentation of a framed portrait.”  If state societies or chapters account for their participation in this President General Initiative here, they cannot also count it in Tab 7, Section E
  2. Tab 7, Section E, which is for the presentation of framed copies of our founding documents.  This has been amended to include “framed portrait of George Washington.”  If state societies or chapters account for their participation in this President General Initiative here, they cannot also count it in Tab 3, Section B
  3. Tab 16, Section A has been amended to include a donation to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, along with the other SAR Funds previously listed.
 
 
II.b. Partnering with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
Promoting History Day Projects on George Washington
(Opportunity for State Societies and Chapters)
 
We all know what a school science project is, and probably most of us prepared one while we were in junior high.  But did you know that these days, many students prepare history projects, and are participating in the history-equivalent of a science fair?  The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association encourages these history projects, and I would like the SAR to encourage them, too.
 
For those who are not familiar with National History Day (NHD), it is a program to foster the study of history by junior high and high school students.  Students choose an historical topic related to an annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research.  Students are encouraged to look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites as part of their research.  After a student has analyzed and interpreted his sources, and has drawn a conclusion about the significance of his topic, he is then able to present his work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.
 
In the spring, students may enter their history projects into local NHD contests where they will be judged by professional educators and historians.  The best local history projects move on to state NHD contests.  The winners of state NHD contests are eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.  This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States meet and compete.  For more information about National History Day, please go to http://nationalhistoryday.org.
 
This year, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) is offering an incentive for students to conduct History Day projects that examine George Washington.  The SAR is going to help Mount Vernon with this effort.
 
The NHD theme for 2014 is Rights & Responsibilities in History.  The MVLA shall award $1,000 to the best project on George Washington within this theme.
 
What can the SAR do?
 
First, SAR State Societies and Chapter should contact the National History Day, and find out about local History Day competitions.  Then, contact whatever organization is managing the local NHD competition, and offer to help.  SAR members may serve as judges in local History Day competitions.  SAR State Societies and Chapters are encouraged to offer their own incentives and awards to students who participate in History Day competitions.  In the past, some State Societies and Chapters have presented Outstanding Citizenship pins or Bronze Good Citizenship Medals or cash awards to these students.  Please consider these or other incentives for these young students of history.  Please become involved in local NHD competitions.
 
Secondly, take note of the students whose projects are related to George Washington.  Please know up front that the History Day projects related to George Washington may not win the local or state competition.  That doesn’t matter: the MVLA and the SAR want to encourage the study of George Washington, even if other History Projects win in local, state and national History Day competitions.
 
For any student whose project examines some aspect of George Washington, write a letter to:
Nancy Hayward, Director of Education
Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
P.O. Box 110
Mount Vernon, VA  22121
 
In your letter to Ms. Hayward, please:
  • Identify yourself and the SAR State Society or Chapter on whose behalf you are writing.  Please provide your address, or an address for the SAR State Society or Chapter
  • Identify the student whose NHD project examines George Washington.  Tell Ms. Hayward the student’s name and the name and address of his/her school
  • Briefly describe the student’s project (50 words or less)
  • Identify the local NHD competition, when and where it took place, and whether the student’s project on George Washington won at the local NHD competition.
 
In response to your letter to Ms. Hayward, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association shall send the student a special Certificate of Achievement, with the insignia of the MVLA and the NSSAR, commending the student for his/her study of George Washington.
 
Remember: MVLA shall award $1,000 to the best project on George Washington within this theme.
 
SAR State Societies and Chapters that send letters to Ms. Hayward at Mount Vernon informing her of NHD projects that deal with George Washington shall be awarded an NSSAR streamer.
 
Colleen Wilson shall be the SAR point-of-contact on this PG Initiative.  Please send Colleen a copy of your correspondence with Mount Vernon.  Colleen shall keep track of which SAR State Societies and Chapters inform Mount Vernon about NHD projects related to George Washington.  If you have any questions about this Initiative, please contact Colleen at cwilsonatsar [dot] org.
 
For the purposes of the Americanism Contest, a state society or chapter’s participation in this President General Initiative may be recorded on the Americanism Score Sheet, Tab 7, Section D, which has been amended to include National History Day as a public service program.
 
President General Initiatives for 2013-2014: Partnering with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association