Students honored for 2019 Delaware Day competition

(DOVER, Del.—Dec. 11, 2019)—On Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, more than 300 students, teachers and family members gathered at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover for the presentation of awards for the 18th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition. Earlier in the school year, Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock invited fourth grade teachers throughout the state to participate in this program which educates students about the U.S. Constitution, Delaware’s role in its creation and ratification, and the importance of voting. Students were asked to answer multiple questions in four categories and place their answers, using original artwork, on two sets of presentation panels. The panels from the 2019 competition have been on display on the second floor of Legislative Hall in Dover from Nov. 13 to Dec. 12, 2019.

Photo of the Delaware Day 2019 audience
Students, teachers and family members attending the Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition award ceremony on Dec. 7, 2019.

Image of the Delaware Day logoDelaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787. Six months later, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish the Constitution as the law of the land.

Detail From Gallaher Elementary School 2019 display
Detail from Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School’s display which received the George Read Award and an Artistic Merit Award in the 2019 Delaware Fourth Grade Competition.

Photo of 2019 George Read Award winners
Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School students receiving the George Read Award. Photo by Ray Colletti

Sponsored annually by Delaware’s secretary of state, the competition encourages students to study the Constitution and to discover Delaware’s role in its writing and ratification. Students’ observations are presented in a panel-display format that incorporates prose, artwork, songs and political cartoons. Each display is reviewed for the accuracy of student answers to each panel question; the clarity and relevance of the pictures and graphics; the accuracy of writing mechanics; and the level of neatness, creativity, organization and attention to detail.

Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School 2019 Delaware Day display
Detail from Bunker Hill Elementary School’s display which received the Gunning Bedford Jr. Award and an Artistic Merit Award.

Each of the competition’s winning schools is recognized with a Signer’s Award named for one of Delaware’s five signatories of the U.S. Constitution. The Signer’s Awards for the 2019 competition are the George Read Award to Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School in Newark; the Gunning Bedford Jr. Award to Bunker Hill Elementary School in Middletown; the Jacob Broom Award to the Learning Express Academy in Newark; the John Dickinson Award to Lake Forest Central Elementary School in Felton; and the Richard Bassett Award to Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Wilmington.

Photo of Learning Express Academy display
Display by the Learning Express Academy which received the Jacob Broom Award and an Artistic Merit Award.

Photo of Immaculate Heart of Mary School display
Display by Immaculate Heart of Mary School which received the Richard Bassett Award.

Honorable Mention awards were presented to All Saints Catholic School in Wilmington, Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Newark, Epworth Christian School in Laurel, Hartly Elementary School, Middletown-Odessa-Townsend Charter K-8 Academy in Middletown, North Dover Elementary School, Ursuline Academy in Wilmington and William B. Keene Elementary School in Newark.

Photo of Lake Forest Central Elementary School 2019 Delaware Day display
Display by Lake Forest Central Elementary School which received the John Dickinson Award.

Artistic Merit Awards were also announced during the ceremony. These awards recognized projects whose overall visual design and impact, composition, cohesiveness and originality represented artistic excellence. Schools honored in this category were Bunker Hill and Robert S. Gallaher elementary schools; Christ the Teacher Catholic School; and the Learning Express Academy. Honorable-mention awards in the Artistic Merit category were presented to Epworth Christian School and Lake Forest Central Elementary School.

Photo of Christ the Teacher 2019 display
Display by Christ the Teacher Catholic School which received one of the Artistic Merit awards.

The 2019 Delaware Day Fourth Grade Student Competition was planned and organized by the Delaware Department of State’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in cooperation with representatives of Delaware Public Archives and the Division of the Arts. Several Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employees served as judges for the history competition while employees of the Division of the Arts judged the entries on their artistic merits.

Go to the following for information about Delaware’s signers of the U.S. Constitution and a Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings associated with the signers.

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-739-7787
Web: http://history.delaware