Students in Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville Schools Share Projects Celebrating the Town’s Rich History
After almost two years of planning, the educational program for the Town of Eastchester’s 350th Anniversary Celebration will commence this month. In celebration of the Town’s rich history, students in public and parochial elementary, middle and high schools have worked on projects that highlight local history and the rich cultural legacy of the community.
The first public event will be held on Wednesday, March 26, at 6 pm, in the Eastchester Middle School Cafeteria with a presentation of exhibits and digital media projects commemorating different aspects of the community’s history. Then, on April 3, from 6-8pm, fine arts creations and films will be displayed in the Bronxville School’s All-Purpose Room. Finally, the performing arts productions will be showcased on April 26, at 7 pm, in the Tuckahoe High School Auditorium. Residents are invited to attend all of these presentations.
As Town Historian Richard Forliano, a former teacher in the Eastchester Middle School, expressed, “From the very first planning meetings for the Town’s 350th Birthday, the Steering Committee placed the highest priority on having an educational program that would engage our students of all ages. Each of the three public school districts embraced the idea and several of the parochial schools joined in. With a most generous contribution, the Bronxville Historical Conservancy became the exclusive sponsor of these educational endeavors. In addition, refreshments for the public event on March 26 will be provided by the Eastchester Parent Teacher Associations, the Eastchester School Foundation and the Eastchester Eagles Sports Club. Now we will all have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the students’ labors!”
Six types of projects were developed by the school district liaisons working with Forliano and the classroom teachers -- the five mentioned above (exhibits, digital media, fine arts creations, films and performance arts), as well as well-researched essays that will be due and published next fall.
In the fall of 2013, a website of source materials was launched by the Steering Committee at www.eastchester350.org. This tool provides students and teachers with enough background information to select particular subjects and create their own individual and group projects, all in alignment with curriculum standards. Each school determined its own students’ level of involvement.
For students who participate in the project, there is the opportunity for direct engagement in history. When long time Eastchester resident Bob Everett visited the 4th grade classes of Nelva Lagerwey and Dianne Carter at the Anne Hutchinson School, he was greeted enthusiastically by students who eagerly peppered him with questions about life in Eastchester when he was growing up. Lagerwey said, “He is an original document. The children have learned how we can use a primary source to learn about the past. This has been an invaluable lesson.”