SPRINGFIELD – The state’s best history students will compete next month in the finals of the Illinois History Day competition, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is looking for volunteer judges to select the winners.
Illinois History Day lets students explore the past by creating exhibits, skits, videos, papers and websites. Regional competitions take place around Illinois and culminate in the state finals on Thursday, May 3.
Reviewing the entries requires a small army of judges, and new recruits are always welcome. Judges work from 9 a.m. until about 1 p.m. Lunch is provided for volunteers.
Volunteers do not need to be professional historians but should have an interest in history. They should also be interested in encouraging students to grow as critical and creative thinkers.
Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, served as a volunteer judge last year and enjoyed it so much he’s volunteering again this year.
“The students really impressed me with their intelligence and creativity,” Lowe said. “It was great fun to see the many ways they presented stories from Illinois history. This year, with Illinois celebrating its bicentennial, I expect to enjoy it even more and to learn a lot in the process.”
Anyone interested in helping can contact Kate Suits at 217-782-2981 or Kathryn.Suits@Illinois.gov.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the state historical library.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln material, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to other aspects of Illinois history. Meanwhile, the museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.