For a full decade, Junior Scholastic®, a social studies magazine for students in grades 6–8, has hosted the Eyewitness to History contest, which encourages students to connect with members of their community and interview people who have experienced historic events in person.
This year’s grand-prize winner is eighth-grade student Alanna Maendel from Rifton, New York.
She interviewed veteran National Public Radio correspondent Anne Garrels about her experience covering the Iraq War for eight years from its beginning in 2003.
Alanna’s article “The War for Iraq” details Garrels’s time filing stories from the battleground to inform millions of Americans, as well as the toll that being a war reporter took on her. Garrels was present during some of the war’s best-known incidents. Through Garrels’s story, Alanna gained insight into how people are affected by the horrors of war in their country. For her grand-prize-winning entry, Alanna and her teacher Lisabeth Button will each receive $250. You can read Alanna’s interview with Garrels in the May 2021 issue of Junior Scholastic and online, here.
Junior Scholastic has also chosen two runners-up from among the more than 200 entries to this year's Eyewitness to History contest. They are:
Tylie Czerniak, an eighth-grade student from Magic Penny Early Literacy Institute in Colden, New York. Tylie interviewed Polikarp Van Pyrz, a Polish survivor of a Soviet labor camp during World War II. Her teacher is Sandra Schneider. Tylie will receive $50.
Zainah Syed, a sixth-grade student from MS 216 George J. Ryan in Fresh Meadows, New York. Zainah interviewed Jobaidul Islam, a freedom fighter during Bangladesh's struggle for independence from Pakistan in 1971. Her teacher is Susan Harts. Zainah will also receive $50.
Congratulations to Alanna, Tylie, Zainah, and their teachers, as well as all of this year’s contest participants and the interviewees who shared their incredible experiences.