5th Grade Student Essay Wins State and Western Region

Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence-in-Writing Curriculum produces award-winning writers! St. Monica Academy 5th graders have won the Daughters of the American Revolution History Essay Contest at the Chapter and District level for over seven consecutive years. Last year, 5th grader Nathaniel’s essay won the State and Western Region levels, becoming one of six essays to compete for the National Award.


“Miss Miranda is a remarkable, gifted teacher. I have been impressed with the quality of the essays of all of her students. The best are stellar. Her ability to communicate and ignite a passion for history and inspire her students to put forth their best effort every year is stellar. I wish I’d had a Miss Miranda when I was in Middle School.” – Sarah Towne-diCicco, California State Society DAR


DAR Nathaniel


Below is an excerpt of Nathaniel’s essay. The 2018 DAR Essay prompt was The War to End All Wars as seen through the lens of a 10-year old living in 1918.


The Great War is finally over. Will the world ever be the same? My father is injured, and my brother, dead. It is only my father, my mother and I left on our family farm in upstate New York…

There were many changes in my life after the war. Without my father and brother to help, I have to do all the farm chores myself. I wake at four. I milk the cows. I tend the fields. I cannot go to school since I have to take care of the farm. I hope Dad gets better soon so I can go back to school, because I love learning. My mother is still working. The munitions factory switched back to making canned food, and she continues because we need the money. Father is still recuperating and cannot work.

People say the Great War is the war to end all wars, but I see things differently. Germany started the war, and they did terrible things. Yet, the Treaty of Versailles is harsh and hard for them. My father says that the sanctions impose too heavy a burden on them and are going to make them so hungry that they will become desperate. During the war, the Tsar of Russia was overthrown by Lenin and his communist party. We do not know if he is good or bad, but time will tell if he is a dictator. These things might lead to more conflict.

My father sees several good outcomes from the war. The military build-up has given us a very strong Army, one of the strongest Navies in the world, and a strong Marine Corps. We have good protection from our enemies, and now we are a world power. Another good outcome is that the United States now has large factories and farms that produce more food and products than any other country in the world. Some of the women in town, including my mother, are pushing for more independence and the right to vote. For all that my mother has been doing for our family, I think that women should have the right to vote.

With the good changes are also the bad. So many of us have lost family members to the war that our families will never be the same. The large factories and farms that sprang up during the war are now making home-run businesses and family-run farms like ours obsolete. We are losing business because we cannot compete with the larger farms. My future as a farmer is uncertain. Although the world has changed forever, I hope it will be for the best.