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Historic Preservation Office Announces Annual 4th Grade Student Essay Contest

The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office is currently accepting applications for their annual 4th Grade Student Essay Contest.

This contest is a component of the annual South Dakota Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, which is celebrated each year in May. The month was created to acquaint the public with the disciplines of archaeology and historic preservation and to strengthen the enduring bond between the past and the present.

The essay contest encourages students to appreciate fully our state’s history and historic resources, the stories they tell, and why they should be preserved for future generations. With the theme of “This Place Matters,” students are asked to write an essay about any South Dakota location that is at least 50 years old, why it is a favorite place for them, and why it should be preserved. The place they choose does not need to be a historic site, and students do not need to write a full history of the location. The contest is open to any 4th grade student in South Dakota, whether they be in public school, private school, or home schooled. 

Each entry will be judged on quality of writing, content and theme, and originality of thought. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The 1st place winner will receive a $200 cash prize, 2nd place winner will receive a $100 cash prize, and the 3rd place winner will receive a $50 cash prize. Each winner will also receive a one-year ($55 value) family membership to the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The entry must be postmarked no later than March 15th and winners will be notified on or before April 15th. For the full guidelines and entry form, please go to . Contact (605)773-2907 or email for more information.  

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. For questions or memberships, call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.