July 15, 2006
Senator George Allen joined residents and tourists at Monticello to help kick off a nationwide essay and poetry contest.
Senator Allen is encouraging Virginians to truly understand the history and multicultural legacy that Virginia has to offer, and to do so he's joining forces with Soul of Virginia magazine as it kicked off a statewide contest.
"I wish that people graduating from colleges would know as much about civics and government and the history of this country as those new American citizens do," Senator Allen said.
Senator Allen joined residents and tourists today at Monticello to launch the "Know your history, Know your story" poetry and essay contest for Virginia high school students.
This contest is aiming to inspire students to research their heritage and create works that reflect the Commonwealth's rich multicultural legacy.
"If you know your history, you won't be what other people will call you. You will have full awareness of how your past is linked to your present and how we are an interconnected group of people with more similarities than differences," said Patricia Green from "Soul of Virginia."
Allen was present to encourage the writer's the importance of using the past as a tool for succeeding in the future.
"Whether its for preserving and protecting our freedom, making sure there's more opportunities for all in this country, one can learn a great deal from history," Allen continued.
Monticello was selected as the launch site because it will be one of the seven presidential homes students will be using for research for their essays and poetry.
Even though the contest is for high school students, Senator Allen encourages people of all ages to know their history so they will be an active participant in the future.
"History teaches you about the past, all citizens in our country are the owners of the government," Allen said.
Students can enter the contest now through November 1st and the winners will be announced next February. The contest is open to high school students all across the Commonwealth, and winners can receive up to $500.