Pictured from left are Rebecca Emery Chapter Historian of the Daughters of the American Revolution Leigh Rush Olson; Jeffrey Fosgatem, Sarah Bouley and Emily Ireland, all of Massabesic Middle School; Sophia Tanguay of Waterboro Elementary School; and Chapter Regent Helen Newton.

Pictured from left are Rebecca Emery Chapter Historian of the Daughters of the American Revolution Leigh Rush Olson; Jeffrey Fosgatem, Sarah Bouley and Emily Ireland, all of Massabesic Middle School; Sophia Tanguay of Waterboro Elementary School; and Chapter Regent Helen Newton.

YORK — The Rebecca Emery Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution honored four local York county students on Feb. 6, at Atria Senior Living in Kennebunk for winning the Chapter’s American History Contest. The students read their essays at the event, received awards, and gathered with family, friends, guests and DAR members for a luncheon and silver tea .

Sophia Tanguay, a fifthgrade student at Waterboro Elementary School, was selected as the fifth-grade essay winner, while sixthgrader Emily Ireland, seventh grader Sarah Bouley and eighth-grader Jeffrey Fosgate, all from Massabesic Middle School, were chosen for their respective classes.

Each year DAR chapters across the country sponsor the American History Contest open to all fifth through eighth-grade students in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as home-schooled students. One winner from each grade is selected by three judges chosen by the local sponsoring chapter (traditionally by the chapter historian), then those winners go to the state finals and then off to nationals. This year’s chosen contest judges for the Rebecca Emery Chapter were Martha Bridges of Kennebunk and 50 years retired public school teachers Martin Olson and Charlotte Olson of Aurora, Illinois.

March 22, 2015 marked the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act. Passed by the British Parliament in 1765, the new tax required all colonists to pay a tax on every printed piece of paper they used and, therefore, many colonists viewed the Stamp Act as “taxation without representation.” The contest required students to describe a colonial family’s discussion about the new Stamp Act and what role it played in organizing the colonists against the British king and Parliament.

The essays required a length of 300-1,000 words, depending on grade level, and were judged on historical accuracy, originality, spelling and grammar. Each student participant received a certificate of participation from the Rebecca Emery Chapter, and the chapter winners received bronze medals, certificates and monetary gift cards. State winners will receive certificates and silver medals and National winners will receive certificates, medals and a monetary award.

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children. In 2015, the DAR celebrated its 125th anniversary and members from across the nation volunteered over 12.5 million hours of community service. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. For more information, visit DAR.org.