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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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!