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Laurel girl is finalist for $10,000 memory championship

National Memory Master's logo

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

Addyson Blankenship, 12, of Laurel, is one of 16 finalists in the National Memory Master competition. On May 2 Addyson 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. Addyson’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.

 “I am thrilled to be selected as a NMM finalist,” Addyson said. “It is an honor to represent my family, my community and most importantly my God.”

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.

Addyson attends the Classical Conversations of Laurel community. She is the daughter of James and Regina Blankenship and the oldest of five children. Addyson is finishing her third year as a Classical Conversations, or CC, student.

Her favorite subjects are history and art. She has studied ballet at Laurel Ballet Academy for the past eight years and also enjoys playing the piano. Addyson loves the Lord and loves showing His love to orphans in China, where she has spent her last three summers serving with her family. 

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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