WEST CALDWELL, NJ - A "Heritage Quilt" created by students at Essex Valley School is now on display at the West Caldwell Public Library. English teacher Phyllis Lardieri worked with students on a school-wide project to create a quilt that highlighted the family histories of students, and then reached out to the Library to create a link to the community with this project.
After reading Everyday Use by Alice Walker, a short story about the passing down of family quilts, Lardieri asked each student to paste pictures representing his or her heritage on six squares of scrapbook paper. Images included food, costumes, instruments, celebrations, famous people, and landmarks from the students’ cultural backgrounds. The squares were joined together to create a paper quilt approximately seven feet long and four feet wide. While the students worked on the squares, they learned about different cultures, as well as explored cultural similarities and differences.
Lardieri and her students visited the West Caldwell Public Library on June 13th to see the display of their Heritage Quilt, and also explore some of the library’s resources, including books about immigration and the Ancestry.com genealogy database. This database provides access to billions of historical records for the United States and around the world, and can be accessed by all patrons at the library’s public computers.
“The West Caldwell Library is thrilled to showcase the work of the students of Essex Valley School and we hope to continue the tradition of showcasing students’ work in the library. What makes this display so important is that is reminds all of us that we all came from somewhere else…and that’s what helps unites us as a community,” said Samantha McCoy, Library Director.
The Heritage Quilt will be on display at the West Caldwell Public Library throughout the summer. The West Caldwell Public Library is located at 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell NJ 07006. For more information about the display, contact the Library at 973-226-5441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.