MOORE — Eva Corga Queimado Reis, a fifth-grader from Fisher Elementary School in Moore, has been named the winner of the 2013 Colonial Day at the Capitol Literature Contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Reis was recognized and read her award-winning essay, “What It Means To Be An American,” during Colonial Day at the Capitol on Feb. 1. American revolutionary leader Patrick Henry, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg historical interpreter Richard Schumann, presented Reis with a plaque and a $100 prize during an opening ceremony in the House of Representatives chambers.
Henry also recognized essay contest finalists, who received certificates of merit. The finalists were Jaxon Schmitt from Houchin Elementary in Moore, Katie Brooks from Elgin Elementary, Jordan Walker from Barnes Elementary in Oklahoma City and Timothy Stolp from Adams Elementary in Norman.
Reis’s essay is about her mother, Maria de Lurdes Queimado Young, who left Portugal as a young woman to come to the United States and complete her Ph.D. Reis said she was proud of her mother for coming to America, “the land of opportunity,” to pursue her dreams and become a scientist. Today, Reis’s mother is an associate professor and the director of Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Reis lives in Oklahoma City with her mother and stepfather, Jonathan Paul Young. She is also the daughter of the late Antonio Manuel Corga Reis. She is a straight-A student who enjoys reading and playing piano. She also loves the outdoors and caring for animals. Her teachers are Tracy Louviere and Teresa Potter, a SEARCH Program teacher.
During Colonial Day at the Capitol, nearly 350 Oklahoma fifth-graders and 100 educators, dressed in period clothing, traveled back in time to meet historical figures, learn about the daily lives of early Americans and debate whether the colonies should remain loyal or seek independence from the British crown. Colonial Day is coordinated by teachers who have participated in the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute through a fellowship program administered by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.