Bolles/HAE students among winners in essay contest

Bolles/HAE students among winners in essay contest
Fifth grade students from The Bolles Lower School Whitehurst Campus were seated in the auditorium at the Jacksonville Main Library awaiting the presentation on Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln presenter Dennis Boggs enlists Bolles student Lucas Harris in a demonstration of one of Lincoln’s boyhood pranks.

Abraham Lincoln presenter Dennis Boggs enlists Bolles student Lucas Harris in a demonstration of one of Lincoln’s boyhood pranks.

The annual two-day presentation held Jan. 17-18 at the Main Library for nearly 1,600 Duval County fifth graders was also an opportunity to sharpen pencils and write essays about the historical speaker. This year two of the eight essay winners included Emma C. Lee from Hendricks Avenue Elementary School and Isabel Bassin from The Bolles School.

Professional Lincoln presenter Dennis Boggs, of Nashville, Tennessee, returned to Jacksonville for a repeat of his 2011 performance telling the story of President Abraham Lincoln at the 11th annual historical presentation hosted by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in Florida.

The Dames sponsor the yearly performances, which are underwritten by the Roger L. and Rochelle S. Main Charitable Trust.

Boggs has been presenting Lincoln for over 16 years, averaging more than 250 performances per year. As Lincoln, Boggs called two Bolles students up to the stage as “props” for his production: Lucas Harris, who demonstrated how Lincoln lifted his stepbrother up to put dirty shoe prints on the ceiling; and Amber Bansal, as an example of who might be President of the United States one day.

After his presentation, Boggs channeled Lincoln’s character to encourage the boys and girls in the audience to use the power of knowledge in waging different kinds of wars.

“You’re fighting wars every single day against hunger, poverty, and racism. You’re fighting wars against crime, drugs, and violence, against diseases. My war and every war since then has been fought, won and lost with too many guns, too much blood and way too many human lives,” said Boggs. “I promise you that the wars you are fighting can only truly be won with one thing. And that’s knowledge. And that knowledge right now is locked up deep inside your young minds. And to unlock it you need a special key and that key is education.”

Each of the winners received a certificate and a portrait of Abraham Lincoln – a $5 bill.

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