The 2011-12 school year marks the 50th anniversary of the Kentucky Junior Historical Society (KJHS). Since 1961, KJHS has been positively impacting the lives of Kentucky’s students. KJHS is a membership program administered by the Kentucky Historical Society that connects Kentucky students in kindergarten through grade 12 to Kentucky’s rich history.
In KJHS, members have the opportunity to participate in activities, academic competitions and service projects throughout the school year and summer. These activities are designed to increase members’ understanding of and appreciation for how history can be used to build strong communities; improve the quality of life; develop sound and objective public policy; and develop and inspire the next generation of Kentucky’s leadership.
Through KJHS, students become advocates for history and for the historic preservation of their communities and the state.
In cooperation with KJHS, Kentucky History Day (KHD) provides an excellent opportunity for peer competition. KHD is a project-based contest for students in grades 4-12. In groups or as an individual, participants research a historical topic around an annual theme, learning the skills and techniques used by historians.
This research takes place in schools, at libraries, online and at many of Kentucky’s historic sites, museums and archives. Depending on their grade level, students present the results of their research in one of five categories: performance, documentary, paper, exhibit or website.
Students can compete at the school, district and state level. Finally, those students grades 6-12 who are the first- and second-place medalists in each category at the state contest advance to the National History Day contest, held at the University of Maryland each June. In addition to medals, students also are eligible to win scholarships and cash prizes.