Nora Moss wins Kids Write History contest

Esther Noe
Nora Moss, a fourth grader at Hill City Elementary School, can now say she is an award-winning writer since she recently won the West River History Conference’s (WRHC) Kids Write History (KWH) contest.
Every year the fourth graders at Hill City Elementary School participate in the KWH program. 
Fourth grade teacher Kelley O’Brien said, “The writing prompt falls into our state writing and history standards. This gives the students their first major writing prompt of the year. It also gets family members involved. The students go home and ask family members about their history. It is an opportunity to talk to aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Kids are always wanting to know more about their family.” 
This year’s prompt was provided by Julie Stoll, the KWH coordinator. It read, “Our goal is to stimulate the students' investigation into local history. They can do this by selecting a person they greatly respect from their family or community, then write (or draw) a one page story about that person.” 
“Right away when I knew about it, I knew who I was going to pick,” said Moss. 
Moss chose to write about her great-great uncle Fay A. Marsh “because he fought in World War II and also in the Korean War. When he was a teenager living in Hill City, he drove the fire truck during the famous Hill City Fire. That was the fire that earned the Rangers their name and the right to have Smokey Bear as our mascot.” 
“He’s a big part of Hill City,” said Moss. 
For her essay, Moss went to Marsh’s house and interviewed him. She then worked on her essay for about four days so she could add a lot of details.
Moss wrote about her great-great uncle’s contribution to the Hill City Fire, his time in the Army, the many medals he received and some of the people he has helped over the years. 
“This is the reason I think my great-great uncle Fay is a true hero. He is 96 years old and still a patriot,” she wrote.
Going into the contest, “I had really high hopes,” said Moss. “When I heard that I got it, I jumped up and screamed.”
“It was so very exciting to hear that Nora received an award and prize this year,” said O’Brien. “It’s such a testament to her work ethic. Nora excels in everything she does, and she puts forth the hard work both in and out of class. Her family is so proud of her, and they were able to attend the award presentation in Lead.” 
The WRHC took place at the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead this year.
“It was super exciting, and all my family was there to support me,” Moss said.
Moss was one of four winners and received a certificate and a $75 prize. She is glad she entered “cause it’s like a really big part. It’s good to be first, and I got to meet all the other people that got second and third.”
This is the second year a Hill City student has won the KWH program with last year’s winner being Cora Stoebner. 
“Cora and Nora are two great examples of our Hill City fourth graders,” O’Briend said. “They took the time to dive into their family history and find someone that really stood out to them. Both winners and our other fourth graders show that they can be great writers.”
Although math is Moss’s favorite subject, writing is indeed a close second. She said, “It’s really fun. I love just writing stories.”
“Mrs. McRaith and I are so proud of Nora, Cora and all our fourth grade writers,” said O'Brien. “We enjoy hearing their stories and all the excitement in their voices when they tell us about their family history. This is a program that we will be continuing for many years.” 

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