Yonkers Rules!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Sorry! It’s just that John and I have been traveling like mad lately, spreading the joy of History Day to teachers and students statewide. Last Thursday and yesterday we conducted workshops in Yonkers. 

The Yonkers Public Schools, under the direction of their new Assistant Director of Social Studies Anthony Brooks, have banded together to start History Day in all middle and high schools in the district! Anthony is a former History Day teacher who had helped several students make it to the National level of competition.  He knows what a difference the program can make in the lives of students, and is eager to get Yonkers involved.

Anyone who has started History Day in their school or district knows that it can feel a little overwhelming at first, but at both our presentations John and I encountered motivated and excited teachers.  They are eager and ready to start the History Day year.  Most already do project-based learning in their classes and are looking forward to merging History Day with their already successful initiatives.

What I loved the most about visiting the Yonkers schools was atmosphere of teamwork and support they have already begun cultivating.  Anthony is working to find funding to help off-set some of the costs associated with the program.  The district’s tech guru, Don DeMatteo, has already posted many History Day resources on their district’s intranet system.  The teachers seemed ready and eager to support each other and share tips and best practices.

As their participation grows, Anthony has asked each school to host their own internal competition.  The top five projects in each category from each school will then compete at a Yonkers History Day contest in February.  Winners from Yonkers History Day will move on to the Lower Hudson Regional Contest, which will be held at the St. Thomas Aquinas College in March.

I am so excited to be involved with the Yonkers Public Schools as they implement History Day.  I think Anthony and his team have amazing drive and dedication, and I really look forward to seeing them succeed with the program.

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