Nscda Essay Contest For Kids


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Gunston Hall Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

MASON NECK, VA, July 27, 2015 – Gunston Hall has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. Gunston Hall has been accredited since 1988. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review every ten years to maintain accredited status.

AAM Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for nearly 45 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

Of the nation’s nearly 17,500 museums over 1000 are currently accredited. Gunston Hall is one of 59 museums accredited in Virginia.

“Gunston Hall is honored to have been awarded subsequent accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. I could not be more proud of our Board of Regents, our staff, and our volunteers for their tremendous effort and passionate commitment to meeting all the requirements necessary to be recognized in this fashion,” said Scott Stroh, Gunston Hall’s Executive Director.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, a panel of seven museum professionals, consider the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“By virtue of being awarded accreditation, Gunston Hall has been recognized as a national leader in the museum field. This professional recognition will enhance our reputation, facilitate partnerships, increase our credibility, and inspire engagement as we strive to fulfill our mission, build audience, garner support, and provide maximum value to those we are proud to serve,” shared Stroh.

Gunston Hall is an educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia governed by a Board of Regents comprised of members of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America. As the 18th-century home of George Mason, Gunston Hall is committed to stimulating the continuing public exploration of democratic ideals as first presented by Mason in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights. Gunston Hall features daily guided tours, an active archaeology site, and special events offered throughout the year. For more information, call 703-550-9220 or visit www.gunstonhall.org.

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 18,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

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Congressional Seminar Essay Contest for High School Students

This essay contest is a major project of The NSCDA held under the auspices of the Washington Workshops Foundation, a private nonprofit educational program in American government for high school students. Winners receive full tuition, including seminar materials, university campus housing, and two meals daily, for a week of citizenship education about the national government, plus fun, new friends, and tours of sites in our nation’s capital.

∗2018 Essay Topic and Title∗

“Why did the authors of the United States Constitution give Presidents the power to issue Executive Orders? How did Congress and the Judicial Branch limit these orders?”


Rules, Information and Judging Criteria for Essay Contest

Essay Poster

History of the Congressional Essay Contest

How to Apply

Review Essay Rules and Information to make sure your submission complies with all rules.

Download and complete the Application and email or mail by USPS with your essay to the local/state NSCDA Congressional Essay representative or Patriotic Service Chair as directed. Please download the Application Unsure about who this person is? Please email  Dames@DumbartonHouse.org for the correct name and contact information. Please include your name, State and county/parish of your school and contact information.

Email Dames@DumbartonHouse.org if you have any questions.

*Please Note: Grandchildren and children of Dames are not eligible for the contest but can still participate. Please contact Libby Siskron at lsiskron@mindspring.com for more information.

Donations to this Essay Contest are greatly appreciated.


Congressional Seminar Essay Contest Video

Congressional Seminar Essay Contest Gallery




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