Digging Into History


The first German offensive against American troops during World War One took place on April 20, 1918 in the village of Seicheprey. It was Connecticut troops from the 102nd Infantry Regiment that came under attack that morning as the German forces tried to teach the newly arrived Americans a lesson. The battle raged throughout the day with heavy losses on both sides and the village was destroyed.

After the war Connecticut citizens collected $5000 to help rebuild the water supply and installed a fountain with a plaque in the town square. A bond had been forged between Connecticut and Seicheprey and this year, on the 100th anniversary of this battle, that bond was reaffirmed.

Digging Into History will strengthen that bond by bringing 15 Connecticut high school students to Seicheprey to take part in a community service project to clear and restore a section of the trenches Connecticut soldiers occupied, with the goal of creating a historic attraction to help spur tourism in the region. Students will work with 15 French students to clear vegetation from the trenches, re-dig sections and restore the trenches to how they appeared 100 years ago.

But don’t worry – it’s not all work! Students will have plenty of time to experience French culture! Activities such as cooking classes, day trips to museums, hikes and other activities are planned! Plus we’ll be in France to learn about and celebrate Bastille Day! After presenting their work to the community we’ll head Paris for four days where we’ll see the sights and visit the Assembleé Nationale and Sénat.

We are excited to announce we have completed the application reviews and have selected 15 Connecticut high school students from across the state!

We’re excited to announce the names of the students who will be participating in this once in a lifetime program!

  • Emily Borges – Shelton – St. Joseph’s High School
  • Alani Burke – Bridgeport – Lauralton Hall
  • Aaron Cohen – Ridgefield – Ridgefield High School
  • Lillith Davies-Smith – New London – Homeschool
  • Katherine Hitson – Simsbury – Simsbury High School
  • Riana Klisus – Milford – Joseph A. Foran High School
  • Mairead Lacey – Ridgefield – Ridgefield High School
  • Daniella Lebron – North Haven – Engineering and Science University Magnet School
  • Latasha McClain – Stamford – Stamford Academy
  • Josh Picoult – Simsbury – Simsbury High School
  • Julia Proto – Orange – Lauralton Hall
  • Samuel Robinson – New Haven – Engineering and Science University Magnet School
  • Lucas Rodriguez – Torrington – Connecticut River Academy
  • Elijah Santiago – New Britain – Connecticut River Academy
  • Joseph Viski – Durham – Coginchaug High School

This is an expensive, but important program! If you’d like to make a contribution to help offset the cost for the students you can! Every little bit helps.

To direct funds to a particular student, student from a particular town, or in memory of a WWI soldier please indicate that on the donation form. Donations can also be mailed to:

Connecticut Heritage Foundation
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

See who has made a donation to the Digging Into History Scholarship Fund!