After winning a series of regional competitions, more than three dozen city students are headed to the state National History Day competitions.
37 students from the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside High School, International High School, Rosa Parks High School, John F. Kennedy High School’s Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy, School 7, and the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented will compete at William Paterson University on Saturday, according to the district.
Students have prepared individual and group exhibits and documentaries around the theme of “Taking a Stand in History” to take on the competition from throughout New Jersey. Some of the projects include “Prosperity to Despair: The Annihilation of Black Wall Street” by Eastside High School student Khristian Aviles; “Interracial Marriage: The Lovings” by a group — Ashley Fasilia, Sahara Sampson, and Aliviyah Goodson — from International High School; “Yellow Journalism: The Stand that Built Social Media” by Emoni Morris of Eastside High School; and “Sitting Down to Take a Stand: Claudette Colvin and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” by Afreen Ali, Samira Allan, Petra Najjar, and Chyenne Roberts from the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented.
There are also projects covering boxing legend Muhammed Ali and the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913.
“The raw excitement they exhibit while delving deep into their topics and applying that research to their projects, gives Paterson a competitive edge other districts just don’t seem to have,” said Eric Crespo, interim associate chief academic officer at the Paterson Public Schools.
Students went to great lengths to conduct research and prepare their projects aiming to make it to the National History Day competition in Maryland in June. Aviles’ search for primary sources led to the development of a personal connection with Olivia Hooker, one of the last living survivor of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921, the single worst incidents of racial violence in the history of the United States.
“I have no doubt our students will again prove themselves worthy competitors at this year’s National History Day events. Beyond the boundless pride I take in their successes, I am truly heartened by the high level of learning that takes place,” said state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans.
Paterson students do well in the National History Day competitions every year.
With three group and three individual projects, the Paterson Academy for the Gifted and Talented saw more of its entries advance to the state National History Day competitions than other schools.