Exclusive Sponsorship of the Eastchester 350th Anniversary Celebration’s K-12 Educational Program

In the fall of 2013, the Conservancy awarded $10,000 in funding to become the exclusive sponsor of the Eastchester 350th Anniversary Celebration’s K-12 Educational Program.

The following school year, students in Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville — public as well as parochial and private — had the opportunity to learn local history: that the town’s roots go back to the Eastchester Covenant of 1665; that the marble quarries drew many early European immigrant workers and their families to the town; that world renowned artists, authors and celebrities have lived here; that the first president of the United States to serve as a Boy Scout did so here; and that the town has been home to four Congressional Medal of Honor winners, as well as countless brave soldiers who served in all the country’s wars.

In addition to exploring these topics, the town’s youngsters were challenged to select a history project of their own. They were asked to produce an essay, an artistic composition, a film or video, a poem, a drama or a mixed-media piece focused on this rich past. Older middle and high school students also developed research subjects into scholarly papers that revealed even more of the town’s unsung history.

The Conservancy was proud to support Eastchester’s 350th Anniversary as the exclusive sponsor of the K-12 Education Program

Conservancy Funding Enables Over 1,000 Students To Explore Local History

In 2013, the Bronxville Historical Conservancy funded a $10,000 exclusive sponsorship of the Eastchester 350th Anniversary Celebration’s educational program.

Eastchester Town Historian Richard Forliano, a former Eastchester Middle School teacher, visited each public, parochial and private school to solicit participation. Jack Bierwirth, a Conservancy board member and a public school superintendent, met with the three town school superintendents. All agreed that tremendous benefits would accrue to the students and to the districts if Eastchester’s special history, including the town’s two villages of Tuckahoe and Bronxville, became a focus for their students during the 2013-14 academic year. Six categories of student work were defined: traditional exhibits, digital exhibits, films, studio art, performing art and research papers.

The results are in and they are a splendid showcase of our local students’ pride in their hometown! Over 1,000 students have received their certificates of participation and scores of their parents and teachers have enjoyed their academic projects—both at presentation evenings in the district and on YouTube.

March 26, in the Eastchester Middle School cafeteria, a wide range of exhibit projects were presented including a PowerPoint presentation of the town’s history, interviews with relatives who had immigrated, as well as imaginative postcards “sent home” about the new country, illustrated essays and poetry. Schools represented that evening included Eastchester’s two elementary schools, its middle school, the Immaculate Conception, Chapel and Pathways schools.

On April 2, Bronxville’s All-Purpose Room was the scene for the film and visual arts projects from schools in Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxille, with six films previewed, including Eastchester Middle School students’ take on the industrialization of the town, a fast-moving video celebrating Bronxville architecture and oral interviews with longtime residents. Original artworks included studies of town architecture, books, story boards and dioramas.

April 25 proved to be a show-stopping evening with various performing arts projects staged at the Tuckahoe High School Auditorium. Eastchester history was celebrated in innovative, funny and even moving ways through an ingenious combination of song, dance and dramatic readings performed by elementary, middle school and high school drama, dance and choral groups (see photos at right). Finally, in early June, Bronxville’s fourth graders will put on an original play. To give the proper time for research development, research essays may be submitted in the fall, completing a very successful program that the Conservancy is proud to have funded.

About the author

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy was established in 1998 to further the understanding and appreciation of the history and current life of the Village of Bronxville, New York. The Conservancy furthers its mission through the presentation of programs, publications, lectures, and special events that foster an awareness of the Village’s architectural, artistic, and cultural heritage and lends its support for projects designed to strengthen and preserve those legacies.