14 different history projects put together by students from five city schools have won a regional competition to take part in the state’s National History Day competition set to take place this Saturday.
Students from four high schools: John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Eastside, and International High School completed exhibits on the Helsinki Declaration, an ethics document on human experimentation in medicine; Executive Order 9066, a presidential decree that deprived Japanese-Americans of their basic rights guaranteed under the American constitution.
Napier Academy, a school on Clinton Street, was the only elementary school to advance into the state round.
With this year’s competition theme focusing on “Rights and Responsibilities in History,” students explored weighty issues, like the teaching of evolution in schools that remain controversial even today.
“These are topics we will learn in college,” said Yoanna Reyes, an International High School student whose exhibit is about the Triangle Factory Fire, a horrific garment factory fire that left over 100 workers dead after the factory owners locked the employees inside to protect business assets rather than workers. “We learned how people around the world are mistreated,” Reyes said. Mistreatment of workers during that fire led to major changes in American labor laws.
“National History Day challenges our students and lets them delve deeper into various interesting historical events, where they become experts in their chosen topic,” said Joseph Ribitzki, a content supervisor at John F. Kennedy High School, whose school managed the largest number of entries, five, in the competition.
On May 3rd, 2014 in William Paterson University city students will compete against other schools in New Jersey for a shot at entering the national round set for June. State level winners become eligible for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June, according to the National History Day contest website.
Rianna Ferrell, Elizabeth Fernandez, Ashley Reynoso, and Melanie Polanco, Napier Academy students, completed an exhibit on “Mother and Child of the Industrial Revolution.”
Sema Miah, Shahana Monesha, and Rema Miah, John F. Kennedy High School students, did an exhibit titled, “The Rights of a Disabled Infant and the Responsibilities of their Parents and the Government.”
Four other groups from JFK completed projects. Frank Carlos Castro, Luis Camacho, Xavier Rosario, also of JFK, put together, “Teaching Evolution: The Right to Knowledge.”
Seren Ozer, Francis DeJesus, and Hanifa Akter, completed a project titled, “The Declaration of Helsinki: The Protection of the Rights and Interests of Human Subjects.”
Genesis Diaz, Stacy Arias, Carolayn Munoz, Andy Rodriguez, and George Pasquale did an exhibit on “Michael Sadler’s Stand Against Children’s Extortion.”
Raqib Quyyum, Shaddidur Rahman, Shah Rahman created a documentry on “Executive Order 9066: Denying the Rights of the Minority.”
International High School students: Saskia Davis, Taquerah Knighton, Liandy Gonzalez, Jessy Garcia, Yoanna Reyes created an exhbit called “The Triangle Factory Fire: The Smoke Behind the Flames.”
Eastside High School has three exhibitions prepared for Saturday’s competition in Wayne. The first group: Kaity Assaf, Karen Fabian, and Yerlin Luperon did an exhibit titled, “Elizabeth Poor Law.”
The second group from the Park Avenue school: Jessie Cheramy, Marie Ramirez, Marleene Rodriguez, Madeline Morcelo, and Roucely Perez have an exhibit called “Operation Pedro Pan.”
Freini Santos, Alexus Jones, and Debra Pachero, completed a group performance titled, “The Court Marshall of Lt. Juan Guzman.”
Rosa Parks High School has four projects. “One Man’s Trash is Another Mann’s Cancer,” a performance put on by Africa Gray and Alexis Ramirez.
Isaiah Reed, a student at the school, has an individual performance called, “The Most Dangerous African American Man: Race vs. Fact.”
Zoe Fields, Christopher Milton, and Autumn Alford have a group performance: “Spare Some CHANGE?”
Only paper to make it into the state competition from the district is by Joana Mendez titled “Female Genital Mutilation.”
Ramirez, a Rosa Parks High School student said, “After two years of NHD competitions, I have become an expert on writing annotated bibliographies!”
“Students are learning about key moments in history while sharpening critical skills needed to be successful in college,” said Donnie Evans, state-appointed district superintendent. “National History Day competitions have been a great source of pride here in Paterson and once again, I congratulate our students’ outstanding achievement as we look forward to the State Competition.”
“Participating in National History Day has been the best experience of my life,” commented Ramirez. “It has prepared me for the research I will need to do in college.”