Thanks to generous support from several foundations, Fort Ticonderoga served over 850 students in classrooms throughout the Adirondacks and in western Vermont during the current school year. The “Soldier’s Life at Fort Ticonderoga” program made up the majority of the programs.
“This program provides students with a tangible, hands-on, minds-on experience of history,” said Judy Contompasis, School and Youth Programs Coordinator at Fort Ticonderoga. “Students are encouraged to think critically about the lives of soldiers during the American Revolution and determine the logistics required to supply the army at Fort Ticonderoga. Students discover how the geography of Ticonderoga influenced the history of North America.”
The programs featured both an educator and a historical interpreter going into fourth grade classrooms. In total, 869 students were served in 22 different schools throughout the region. Fort Ticonderoga staff logged over 1,800 miles during the year traveling to schools.
“Thank you for coordinating ‘The Soldier’s Life at Fort Ticonderoga’ presentation for the fourth graders,” said fourth grade teacher Shari O’Bryan from Ticonderoga Elementary School. “They really enjoyed the information and seeing all of the items that soldiers used long ago. It was a great start for our study of the wars fought in New York State.”
Shoshana, a fourth grade student from Weybridge Elementary School in Vermont wrote: “Thank you for the compelling presentation that you gave us. I was interested in the soldier’s strategies and how logically the rivers and locations fit together with the battle and soldiers…. When you were talking about conquering Canada, I now want to do more research on that topic. Thank you for giving me more opportunities to learn about history, and to study more.”
Generous grant support covered the costs of these in-classroom programs. Programs within the Adirondack Park were supported by the Lake Placid Education Foundation while programs in Vermont’s Addison County received support from the Walter Cerf Community Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation. In addition, the Essex Community Fund of the Adirondack Foundation funded a program for Willsboro Central School.
Teachers interested in booking a program for the coming 2015-16 school year are invited to call Judy Contompasis at 518-585-6370 to place their name on a waiting list pending anticipated funding. The programs are offered late October 2015 through mid April 2016 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To learn more about education programs from Fort Ticonderoga, visit www.FortTiconderoga.org and select the “Education” tab on the menu.