History High School ribbon cutting (NY)

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On Thursday, October 12, at the Academy of American Studies, a public high school in Long Island City, students, educators, and elected officials participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Gilder Lehrman Research Center, a student-run history research center. The Academy of American Studies, the flagship school of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is the first history high school in the U.S.

The center, located in a renovated classroom in the school, will serve students at the Academy of American Studies, as well as students at Long Island City High School, Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts, and Newcomers High School. It houses books, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and reproductions of primary source materials. Six seniors enrolled in AP U.S. History at the Academy of American Studies will spend time working in the center on weekday afternoons and Saturdays. These students will field questions via phone and email and provide direction for other students working on papers and research projects in their history courses. Students from all four schools also will be able to check out materials from the research center.

Over the summer, the six students received instruction at the Gilder Lehrman Collection in Manhattan on how to conduct online research of the Collection and other archives. They also learned how to use document transcriptions and indexes and prepared two primary document binders – one on slavery and one on Thomas Jefferson.

“I think that this opportunity will help me to work with other students in a mentorship role,” said Robert Wohner, a senior at the school who will work in the center. “Looking at the wide array of primary sources available can open their eyes to the tangibility of history, and enhance their own ability to use these documents in an educational way.”

Social Studies teacher John Maggio added: “The research center provides an educational oasis where students will have a first-hand opportunity to link themselves to the past through the use of primary documents and to assist other students in their pursuit of the study of American history.”...

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