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Norwalk Student Coaches Team To U.S. History Bee Finals

At the National History Bee regional finals on April 14 at Middlesex Middle School in Darien are, from left, Anjo Therattil, Esha Sharma (coach), Jay Sharma, Krithika Natarajan and Aalok Bhattacharya.
At the National History Bee regional finals on April 14 at Middlesex Middle School in Darien are, from left, Anjo Therattil, Esha Sharma (coach), Jay Sharma, Krithika Natarajan and Aalok Bhattacharya. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Juhi Sharma

NORWALK, Conn. -- Esha Sharma, a junior at Norwalk High School, coached a team of five fourth- and fifth-graders from Norwalk, Wilton and Westport to the regional finals of the National History Bee on April 14 at Middlesex Middle School in Darien.

Three out of the five students will continue on in the competition and participate in the national finals in Louisville, Ky., from May 22 to 24. The National History Bee is an academic competition for elementary and middle school students that tests knowledge of a wide range of historical topics (www.historybee.com).

As a sophomore, Sharma started teaching these students history and geography through the Fairfield Enrichment Club. For the past two years, she has been teaching them through an online video messaging tool. This year, the students felt prepared to take the qualifying test to reach the regional finals and wanted to make it to the finals. Every Thursday since September, they have been preparing and studying material for the history bee qualifying exam. All five students qualified for the regional finals.

As time went on and they got closer to the regional finals, Sharma met with them every Saturday to practice even more and study harder.

“We prepared a lot and worked really hard to make it this far. I am really proud of everyone," said Sharma.

Sharma created the syllabus for the class from the Kingfisher Encyclopedia. “This book contained a lot of information, and I thought it was really appealing to this age group. It incorporated colorful pictures, and the material wasn’t boring to read.”

“I started this history and geography club because I know a lot of kids who enjoy history as much as I did when I was growing up. I wish I had something like this when I was a child. I know I would’ve loved to compete in the National History Bee,” said Sharma.

As a result of her efforts, she raised $600 these past years and has donated it all to the Norwalk Education Foundation. She donated it because she has seen the contribution NEF has made to the Norwalk Public Schools and wants to keep it going.

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