Iowa Middle-schoolers were honored at the capitol this (Thursday) morning for homework on a special topic. Charlotte Nelson, Director of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, says they won an essay contest titled “Writing Women Back into History.” The students write about a famous women, or can do an oral history with someone they know personally. Nelson says the entries by kids in sixth through ninth grades were “inspiring”, and very mixed. Jane Elliot was talked about in the context of civil rights, and Madame C-J Walker, a businesswoman who became the African-American millionaire. One of the students wrote about Rita Swan, a lifelong children’s advocate who was there at the ceremony, another about Almo Hawkins, the t-v anchor and civil servant who was there along with the student who wrote about her. The kids not only won books, tapes, posters, money and other awards, they also got to see their government in action, getting introduced to the members of the state House and Senate first thing this morning. While they were in the chambers, the lawmakers voted to adopt a resolution proclaiming March “Women’s History Month,” so they got to see the legislature in action. For some it was their first trip to the capital, but one of the students has won this essay contest twice before.
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