Sleep? What’s that?

Oh boy, last week was crazy busy for both John and me.  We started the week in Yonkers, and ended in Ellicottville, just south of Buffalo.  Despite the long drives, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Have I mentioned that we have basically commandeered NYSHA’s Ford Freestar minivan?  It is such a great car to drive, and makes it easy for us to tote exhibits and other History Day swag all across the state.  Now that I can plug in my iPod, John and I have spent many-an-hour singing at the top of our lungs to Neil Diamond and Billy Joel.

Anyway, I didn’t start this post to give you a play-by-play of the 1,000+ miles we’ve put on the van in two weeks.  I wanted to share with you where we have been.  I already shared with you our great Yonkers adventure in my last post, but I must restate how much I love it that they are so serious about implementing History Day in the entire district.  Anthony Brooks and his teachers are my heros!

Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, John and I travelled to Ellicottville to attend the inaugural conference of the new Western Southern Tier Council for the Social Studies.  Boy, do Paul Benson, Rick Walters, and company know how to throw a educator’s conference!  I have never spent time with such motivated educators and enjoyed the keynote speakers and sessions so much.  John and I both presented at the conference.  John gave a session on how to create a History Day exhibit.  I showed how to use Windows Movie Maker to create awesome digital documentries.  Both our sessions seemed to go well, so thanks to the teachers who attended them!

On Saturday we attended a town hall meeting session about history clubs.  Mike Conroy from Allegany-Limestone hosted the session, and it was great to hear how he has implemented History Day as an extra-curricular activity in his school. (Side note:  Last year was Mike’s first year with the program, and his student Stephanie Mackowski took her Junior Individual Documentary all the way to the National competition!)

The session reminded me how the History Day program makes a perfect after-school program.  Perhaps you’re interested in starting History Day but just don’t have the time to do it in the classroom, or the commitment from co-teachers and administration to start a school-wide program.  Try it as an after school club!  See if your school will give you a little extra $$$ for being a club advisor.  It can’t hurt to ask. 

I’ve even tried to make it easy on you by developing a free after school History Day club toolkit.  You can download it for free at our website:

Take a look and let me know your thoughts.  I swear I am a very much under-used resource.  Call me and email me and I can help you! I promise!


4 Responses to “Sleep? What’s that?”

  1. 1 History Day Guy November 16, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    For the record, I don’t sing along to Bily Joel-NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT!- I’m just more of a Bruce Springsteen type!

  2. 2 historydaygal November 16, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Ok, he’s right. There was no Billy Joel in the car. I totally lied. But it was a white lie. Can you all forgive me? What I should have said was that we were singing along to ABBA songs. . . . Just kidding! (or am I?) 😉

  3. 3 CGP.V.A. January 3, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    So that van…no breakdowns in the middle of the Southern Tier I hope?

  4. 4 historydaygal January 9, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Actually, we have a NEW van! We did take the van of which you speak to Albany once for a workshop. Besides not having any seats in the back and being very filthy with farm dirt, the sliding door broke on us. We resolved never to take it again! LOL!

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