MUSEUM PROGRAM HONORS YOUTH FOR DEDICATION TO HISTORY
February 20, 2008 - Harrogate, Tennessee–The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) honored sixth grader Allen Miller of Harlan, Ky., with the rank of General in Lincoln’s Army in its Lincoln Letters for Kids program. Miller surpassed the highest rank achievable and received his General commission at a special ceremony held at the ALLM.
Lincoln Memorial University undergraduate student Natalie Sweet established Lincoln Letters for Kids three years ago. The program which targets grades three through six includes a quarterly publication that introduces children to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War and the Civil War soldier. Children enrolled in the program receive free membership in Lincoln’s Army, including a membership card that gives the child free admission to the ALLM when they are accompanied by a paying adult. To date the program has over 500 members in 24 states. Lincoln Letters for Kids is even delivered to other countries.
When Sweet created the program, she wanted to charge its members with the duty to learn. Members are encouraged to research all aspects of the Civil War. To encourage participation, participants are rewarded for their interest with rank. Rank is gained by asking questions, attending Lincoln’s Army events, reading books and sending in papers on topics related to the Civil War.
From the start, 10 ranks existed: private, specialist, sergeant, master sergeant, sergeant major, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel and colonel. To achieve each rank, one has to earn 100 points.
Miller, a sixth grader at Miller Family Homeschool, reached the summit of colonel with 1,000 points, but wanted to continue his exploration of the Civil War. Sweet and ALLM officials decided that new ranks should be created to honor extraordinarily special achievements and Miller was challenged to gain 2,000 points to reach the rank of General. He did this by writing papers, profiles and playing a huge part in Operation Star, a Lincoln’s Army service initiative where members gathered holiday cards for soldiers in today’s United States Army.
In recognition of his rank, Miller received a certificate. He is the first member out of over 500 to receive this rank. For his participation in Operation Star Miller was awarded a special service medal. He also received a Lincoln Statue which represented his dedication to learning.
For more information or to become a member of Lincoln’s Army visit www.lmunet.edu/museum or contact Sweet at email@example.com.
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm, Saturday from 11am to 4pm and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.
CAPTION 1: Lincoln Letters for Kids founder Natalie Sweet joins Abraham Lincoln Library Museum (ALLM) Director Thomas Mackie and ALLM Curator Steven Wilson in honoring sixth grader Allen Miller for his remarkable efforts in researching and learning about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Miller is the first member of Lincoln’s Army to reach the rank of General.
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