Essay contest gives back to Mason Public Schools

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By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Winners of the Mason College Club’s eighth grade essay contest will be announced at the March 9 sesquicentennial celebration. City Councilman Marlon Brown said he would present winners with a certificate bearing the city’s sesquicentennial seal.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

The essay contest, held for Mason Middle School eighth graders, was hosted by Mason College Club and Scott Shattuck, eighth grade history teacher.

Students were asked to write a two-page prompt regarding the history of Mason streets named after families.

The club choose three winners and one honorable mention from more than 8 submissions.

The monetary prizes are to be given through educational accounts to be spent on historic field trips with Mason Middle School students as a collective.

After winners are announced at 5:30 p.m. on March 9, students will read their own essays to the audience.

The students enjoyed doing research about their town, said president of Mason College Club Cheryl Lariviere said.

Lariviere said the inspired interest Mason College Club had with hosting the essay competition.

“We wanted to become involved with Mason’s 150-year-old celebration on an educational basis and instill interest in history of young people,” Lariviere said.

The mission statement of Mason College Club is to give resourceful Mason High School graduating seniors the opportunity to further their education through scholarships and to provide interesting and educational programs along with camaraderie.

The club awards six $1,000 college scholarships to high school seniors.

In addition to focusing on the educational system in Mason, the club also participates with Thai Adventure, Michigan History and Fascinating Facts about Ingham County, making Valentines for Vets, Pregnancy Services of Lansing, and Linking All Types of Teachers to International, Cross-cultural Education.

The club was founded by Dr. Gertrude O’Sullivan, Mason’s first female physician//,// in 1931, and eight other women to bring together college women from the Mason area who were interested in promoting higher education, Lariviere said.

Since the start of the club, loans and scholarships have reached different diversities throughout Mason Public Schools.

“At first, loans were made available to young women, then scholarships, and very recently those were extended to men as well,” Lariviere said.

Mason College Club raises scholarship money through a variety of sources including: a Treasure Sale during Mason’s Down Home Days in the fall, A&W Spaghetti dinners, Younkers Fundraiser booklet sales and donations from members and community.

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