Students from Trenton’s Martin Luther King Elementary School have started discovering the pivotal history in their own backyard thanks to an innovative program created by Crossroads. On a recent visit to the Old Barracks Museum, fourth graders learned that the structure not far from their school was a military hospital during the Revolution, and was among the places where Continental Army soldiers received smallpox inoculations.
The visit was part of a year-long class project where students will learn about Trenton’s role in the American Revolution and produce videos about the impact on the people who lived in the community during the war. The project is made possible through grants from the Verizon Foundation, NJEA and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“While the Old Barracks regularly gets visits from school groups around the state, students from Trenton rarely come on class trips,” said Crossroads Executive Director Janice Selinger. “History becomes so much more real when you see it happened in your own neighborhood. We’re hoping this project will spark a lifelong interest and pride in Trenton’s Revolutionary history among these youngsters.”
Besides the visit to the Old Barracks, the students will learn from visits from historians and re-enactors over the course of the year. Working in teams, they’ll then use what they learn to create video themes, scripts and scenery for the final product, which they will produce on iPads. The student videos which will be shown in the spring at a special red-carpet premiere at Martin Luther King Elementary School.
The project and the students’ visit to the Old Barracks will also be featured on NJTV’s Classroom Closeup, airing on December 9th at 7:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Check the NJTV website for how to find NJTV on your cable provider’s lineup, or the broadcast channel in your area.