Sophia George in front of the American National Tree exhibit at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo credit: Mike DeNardo)

Sophia George in front of the American National Tree exhibit at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo credit: Mike DeNardo)

The American National Tree is one of the most popular exhibits at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Each year, students who participated in the Scholastic Awards are invited to submit essays about historical Americans who have helped shape our Constitution. The winning essay is added to the Tree and the author is given a $1,000 Maurice R. Robinson American National Tree Award and a trip to Philadelphia, PA. This year’s winner was Sophia George, a 9th-grader at Culver Academies in Culver, IN, for her essay on Thaddeus Stevens. Congratulations, Sophia!
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From left: Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen; American National Tree Award recipient Isabelle Breier; ABC-TV journalist Nydia Han; and Alliance Senior Manager, National Programs, Scott Larner in front of the American National Tree Exhibition.

From left: Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen; American National Tree Award recipient Isabelle Breier; ABC-TV journalist Nydia Han; and Alliance Senior Manager, National Programs, Scott Larner in front of the American National Tree Exhibition.

This year’s M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award invited rising 8th to 12th grade Gold Key recipients to write short biographical essays about 5 American activists, including: Albert Snyder, Edward Schempp, Bayard Rustin, Maya Angelou…and the incredible Nellie Bly!

For their efforts, one student receives a scholarship of $1,000 and an excerpt of their award-winning work is engraved on a brand-new leaf of the Constitution Center’s popular exhibit, the American National Tree.

More than 170 students heeded the call, and a panel from the 2013 National Student Poets Program picked their favorites for the National Constitution Center to review. One particular essay stood head and shoulders above the rest.

About a young female journalist, by a young female journalist, Isabelle Breier’s profile of Nellie Bly was inscribed on a leaf, bound on an historic tree, and celebrated this year on National Constitution Day, September 17 amid fanfare, photo opportunities and naturally, press coverage! Joining Isabelle and her family as a special guest, Philadelphia’s ABC-TV investigative reporter Nydia Han rounded out a trio of inspired and inspiring women writers; Executive Director and CEO of the National Constitution Center and the Alliance’s Senior Manager Scott Larner took part in the festivities as well. Read More

 

Taking a leaf from her inspiring forebear, 15-year-old Isabelle Breier wrote a compelling essay about pioneering journalist Nellie Bly—and earned this year’s American National Tree Award essay contest! Isabelle is 15 and a rising 11th grader at the Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. We’ll be back with more about her, her essay and the amazing Nellie Bly on September 17 – National Constitution Day! Isabelle will join the National Constitution Center in celebrating the addition of Nellie Bly to the American National Tree exhibit.

Check back on September 17 to learn more—and while you’re at it, you can register for the 2015 Scholastic Awards!