Benton Middle School seventh-grader Alyssa Kiffer received an Outstanding Entry Award at the National History Day competition. She also was a finalist in the Individual Documentary Category, according to a news release.
The theme for this year’s competition was “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Kiffer’s entry, “The Little Rock Nine and the Crisis at Central High: The Triumph of Desegregation, The Tragedy of Increased Racial Hate and Violence” earned first place earlier this spring in the junior individual documentary division at the Virginia State History Day competition.
The national competition was held at the University of Maryland College Park on June 9-13.
Kifer’s documentary encompasses the history of desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the story of the nine students who integrated Central High School.
Kiffer’s history teacher Anne Walker said she was proud of Alyssa’s hard work.
“She was very enthusiastic about her topic and it showed,” Walker said.
More than 8,000 Virginia students in grades six through twelve participated in this year’s History Day in their classrooms and 169 projects by 280 students advanced to the state competition and 64 entries advanced to the national competition.