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Pinole History Essay Contest

Each year the Pinole Historical Society sponsors an essay contest in local schools. The goal is to get students to practice their writing skills, get them interested in history, and learn how to be critical thinkers.

Every year during the first week in June, PHS board members are joined by the Mayor of Pinole to recognize the participants and present Target gift cards to the Grand Prize winners. The mayors really enjoy this. One year, Mayor Peter Murray spoke to students in each of the classrooms we visited about the importance of learning how to express their thoughts in writing and learning about the history of the community in which they live. Students in one class asked the mayor to stay and explain how the city’s government works, and he gladly complied.

Our essay topics have included:

  • What does the American flag mean to you?
  • What do you know about history?
  • Write an essay about one of Pinole’s founding fathers or mothers, or a notable Pinole citizen.
  • What makes a community like Pinole so special?
  • What would you like Pinole to be like 25 years from now?

(We received some very interesting responses, everything from flying robots and flying cars, to requests for more parks, more police, more restaurants, more things for kids to do, and requests from several young students for people to become more involved in the community.)

  • How would you describe an American?
  • Describe three of your favorite historical places and/or events in Pinole.
  • What would you like to see in the new Pinole History Museum?
  • If you could meet with an historic person, who would it be and what would you talk about?

The day we present these awards is always one of the best days of the year for the Pinole Historical Society. We look forward to visiting schools and recognizing students for their achievements. And, the students give us great ideas. We learn from each other.

Once the Pinole History Museum opens, we’ll have a multitude of regularly scheduled and special programs for students in the museum. And, we’ll continue our Museum on Wheels program by bringing Pinole’s history into the schools.

We thank Pinole teachers for having their students participate, and we thank the students for being so creative and giving us a new perspective on history.

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