Essex Heritage and Salem Maritime Team up to Help Lynn Students Connect to History

December 31, 2013
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Lynn Classical students at Salem Maritime National Historic Site participating in the PEC program.

Lynn Classical students at Salem Maritime National Historic Site participating in the PEC program.

Three separate classes of English Language Learner students from Lynn Classical High School recently took part in a new educational program, “Salem and Global Trade,” led by education coordinators from Essex Heritage and Salem Maritime National Historic Site.  Utilizing primary source documents, maps, trade goods, and websites on international trade, the program is a direct result of this summer’s Park for Every Classroom (PEC) teacher professional development program, offered jointly by Salem Maritime’s Maryann Zujewski and Essex Heritage’s Beth Beringer.

The Park for Every Classroom model engaged a number of educators, including the students’ teacher, with the best practice methodology of Place-Based Service Learning and is designed to “create opportunities for students to think critically about the past, recognize history as an ongoing process of discovery, and ultimately better understand the relevance of history and the parks in their lives,” says Zujewski.

Twenty-five of these students followed up with a visit to Salem Maritime this week to not just learn about their local connection to global trade but to experience it in “place.”  Participating students have been in the United States for three years or less and hail from Africa, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Nepal, and Iraq, and for many of them it was their first experience at a National Park.  “These students bring so much enthusiasm and cross-cultural knowledge to their learning,” says Beringer.  “It’s really fantastic to work with them.”

The educators helped students connect their own international backgrounds to the topic of global trade by having them explore trade goods from around the world and by tying the story of historic trade based in Salem to enduring economic forces that persist today.  Students braved freezing temperatures to experience sailor life aboard Salem Maritime’s replica tall ship, Friendship, during their visit and saw how the National Historic Site’s Custom House and Public Stores buildings can shed light on both historic and modern forces of globalization.  Moving forward, students will continue their experience by creating a place-based project based on their learning.

For more information visit www.essexheritage.org/education-programming or call Essex Heritage at 978-744-0444.

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