21 June 2010

Youth awards: The way to go!

All genealogists know that new blood is the life of our passion and our commitment to learning about our ancestors.

Bringing new researchers into our world is the way to go. Even better is a determined effort to get young people involved.

In addition to learning about their individual family histories and ancestors, this pursuit increases and hones writing skills, personal interest in world history, language study and other additional skills.

Tracing the Tribe has talked for a number of years about a tiered award system for students (elementary, middle/junior, and high school). From local awards, winners could move to state or regional awards, and then a national award.

Such a competition - especially for Jewish genealogy, but equally applicable to all genealogy societies - would bring much-needed publicity and interest at all levels from students, parents and schools.

High school junior or senior winners could indicate the award on university applications, setting themseves apart from the sea of similar applicants, and this would also help elevate the study of family history in the eyes of academics at many universities.

Here's the announcement of the NGS Rubicam Award, given to 2009 winner Thomas Adams.

Dear Fellow Genealogist:

Young people with an interest in the history of their family, in search of a summer project, seeking to satisfy a school assignment or club project will want to see the videos of Thomas Adams, the 2009 winner of the National Genealogical Society Rubincam Youth Award.

Created by award winning filmmakers Kate Geis and Allen Moore, the videos go live today at the society’s website, http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/ and will soon appear on YouTube. The three short segments are:

· The Award: Genealogy puts history into personal perspective for high school student Thomas Adams, recipient of the Rubincam Youth Award.

· My Research: Young family history sleuth Thomas Adams talks about his "Eureka!" moment.

· Inspiring Others: Thomas' discoveries encourage his friends to follow their own

For more information, contact NGS President
Jan Alpert.

What groups are willing to run with this idea to create more interest among young people in family history?

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