PATERSON, NJ – Paterson Public Schools’ students recently received awards for 46 history projects at The Northern Regional National History Day competition at Kean University on March 23. This achievement of 46 submissions more than doubles the district’s awards from last year.  The students will now compete in the New Jersey State Competition on May 4th at William Paterson University.

This year’s theme is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, and Events and the student projects from Paterson made up 31% of the entire North Jersey Regional competition.  Students, teachers, and administrators from Eastside SIT and GOPA, John F. Kennedy STEM, Rosa Parks, International, PS #7, Academy for the Gifted and Talented, and Don Bosco Academy competed in this rigorous academic competition which revolves around various opportunities for project based learning.  School #7 student Diego Buritica, who competed in and won the regional competition last year with his group exhibit on the Paterson Silk Strike, looks forward to taking the next step with his group exhibit project this year on Media and the Vietnam War.  Buritica added, “Last year we went to Washington D.C. as guests—this year, we want to win the state competition and go to Washington D.C. as contestants”.  Buritica also pointed out that he competed again not just for the love of the competition but because “it is a great way to learn about cool topics in history.”

“National History Day is a living, breathing initiative that has become an important vehicle in promoting rigor and critical thinking skills.  National History Day is not just a competition—it’s a paradigm shift in how we learn and how we teach in Paterson,” said Nick Vancheri, Interim Principal of School #7 and former Supervisor of Social Studies for the district.

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Paterson’s District Superintendent, Dr. Donnie Evans, added, “Our students are realizing significant achievements, and the National History Day competition remains a shining example of this.  When educators and students collaborate to accelerate student outcomes, success can be achieved.  I am very proud of these students and will be routing for them in the national competition.”

A complete list of student winners is available at www.paterson.k12.nj.us under “Students.”   The winners of the State competition are eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.  At this event, projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete.  For more information, visithttp://www.nhd.org/Contest.htm.