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Champaign girl is finalist for $10,000 memory championship

Claire Vivian photo

Champaign, IL—A Champaign sixth-grader will embark Sunday on a voyage to become a national memory champion and earn a $10,000 grand prize.

Claire Vivian, 11, of Champaign, is one of 16 finalists in the National Memory Master competition. On May 2 Claire will compete in three rounds of academic memory testing during a five-day cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival cruise ship Victory. Each of the finalists received two free tickets to the cruise and $800 in traveling money.

The 16 finalists have already been through a rigorous series of local and regional competitions to reach the finals. Claire’s presentation to reach this point in the competition was a history story presented as a museum curator in the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, where she recited all 12 history facts in under 180 seconds.

“After setting this goal for myself, it was exciting to be named a finalist for National Memory Master,” Claire said.

The National Memory Master competition is hosted by Classical Conversations®, a classical education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. Classical Conversations now has more than 93,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs.

Claire attends the Classical Conversations Champaign Urbana 1 community. She is the daughter of John and Cynthia Vivian and has three brothers. Claire is finishing her fifth year as a Classical Conversations, or CC, student.

When not studying her favorite classes French, Latin and science, Claire enjoys piano, church choir, sewing, Crossfit, and 4H.

In addition to the National Memory Masters competition, the first CC Capstone Cruise will also feature the third annual National Number Knockout finals and CC’s first high school commencement.

CC provides resources, guidance and a community for a home school curriculum using classical education in three developmental stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric, and taught from a Christian worldview, according to its founder, Leigh Bortins. She says CC supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. She believes there are three keys to a great education: classical, Christian and community.

Started in 1997 and headquartered in West End, North Carolina, CC is a family-owned company that provides services to almost 1,900 CC communities around the world. For more information visit 

John Carpenter, Communication Journalist
Classical Conversations® 
(423) 618-3753


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