July 25-27, FDR Home & Presidential Library, Hyde Park, NY

Knowledge — that is, education in its true sense — is our best protection against
prejudice, and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interests,
illiberal minorities or 
panic-stricken leaders. — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Boston, Oct. 31, 1932

Gardening, cooking, and eating was the order of the day for the Sylvia Center field experience, #THV2016. [Photo: Alex Ramey]

Two characteristics distinguish THV’s summer institutes. First, our programs are interdisciplinary mixing science, social studies, and culture — sometimes in the same session.

Second, we invite all grades along with educators from museums, environmental organizations, libraries, historic sites, parks, and more.

We respect educators as practitioners, intellectuals, and community members; introduce new content and skills; and provide follow-up and support.

Our programs engage educators from a range of settings, encouraging active participation in making sense of new content and practices.

THV models settings where students, regardless of age, can generate ideas and questions, investigate, make meaning, reason, and solve real problems.

This year’s theme

The planners chose Building Community as this year’s theme because schools, historic sites, museums, parks, and community groups are well positioned to promote what FDR called “education in its true sense”.  Many of you already are pursuing this goal by teaching an understanding of democracy, practicing civic discourse, and modeling respect for diversity. We hope the institute provides an opportunity for you to share experiences and strategies for this important work.

As a place-based learning project THV believes connecting students with each other, significant places, and communities promotes appreciation for and stewardship of our region’s diverse culture, history, and ecosystems while promoting civic engagement.

Coming soon: registration and other details. In the meantime . . .

Opening activity & talk

Gina Dellante, high school ELA teacher, Newburgh Free Academy North, NECSD


Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
, Margie Turrin, education coordinator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Libby Zemaitis, climate outreach specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Giant map to be used in “Hands & Feet on Learning”. [Photo: NY Sea Grant]

Free the Tribs: Improving Passage for Floods and Fish in Your Community’s Streams, Rebecca Houser, environmental educator; Megan Lung, environmental analyst; Andrew Meyer, conservation specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Hands (and Feet) on Learning: The NY Giant Traveling Map, Nordica Holochuck, New York Sea Grant (Bringing science to the shore.);  Susan Hoskins, Institute for Resource Information Sciences, Cornell University

Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley, Kathy Burke, director, Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley, NYS Bridge Authority, and former teacher

Comic by Kevin Nordstrom

History Comics Club: Connecting Students to their Heritage One Panel at a Time, Emily Robinson, education assistant; Susan Boudreau, site manager, Clermont State Historic Site

“I had no idea that happened here”: Strategies for Exploring Your Amazing Hometown, Pat Sexton and Peter Muste, founders/co-directors, Education Network for Teachers & Artists

Mapping out your Community: How water resources connect us, Robin Sanchez, deputy director of education, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection

Planning and Paying for Student Field Experiences — BOCES representatives TBA; Susan Carver, Connect Kids, NYS Parks; Debi Duke, THV; and Natashea Winters, community engagement officer, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

The River that Flows Both Ways: A Listening/Writing Workshop Exploring Hudson Lore and Your Story, Jonathan Kruk, MA Edu. and master storyteller

Safe Schools for All: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, GLSEN Hudson Valley: Rob Conlon, chapter co-chair and program manager, Statewide Children’s Centers in the Courts; Peter Mostachetti (LMSW), student outreach coordinator; Christopher Wyble, professional development coordinator

Campaign buttons for Shirley Chisholm and Bella Abzug, ca. 1970. [Courtesy of Ronnie Lapinsky Sax, NYS Museum]

Service Learning at Historic Sites, high school students TBA and Kayla Altland, coordinator, education and youth program, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt and Van Buren National Historic Sites, National Park Service

Teaching a People’s History of the New Deal, Adam Sanchez, social studies teacher, Harvest Collegiate HS, and editorial board member, Rethinking Schools. Author of Who Made the New Deal?

Teaching Tough Topics, Laura Garcia, racial justice program manager, YWCA Orange County; Christine McCartney and Ginny McCurdy, ELA teachers, Newburgh Free Academy; and Kathy Wurster, social studies teacher, Washingtonville HS

Women’s History, Ashley Hopkins-Benton, senior historian and social history curator, with colleagues, New York State Museum

Field Experiences

On Wednesday, July 26, each participant will select a field experience instead of gathering in Hyde Park. Options:

Building Community in Kingston: History, Art & Environment in City Neighborhoods: a comprehensive look at examples of urban agriculture, art, history, and environmental stewardship — and how to involve students — including conversations with Mayor Steve Noble and others.

The Great Newburgh History Adventure: A How-To Field Experience: a creative way to help students learn about their community’s past and the Hudson Valley’s role in the development of our country’s history, art and literature. Includes ferry trip and visit to Beacon’s Long Dock Park.

Hidden Treasures of Science & History in the Lower Hudson Valley: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory & Piermont Pier: learn about the pier, L-DEO (part of Columbia’s Earth Institute) programs and support for schools and students + visit labs and scientists.

Historic Bridges of the Hudson Valley: Building Bridges to Build Community: experience the NYS Bridge Authority’s new museum in the Administration Building, Bear Mountain Bridge, west side of the Hudson River between Peekskill and Fort Montgomery.

An Historic Voyage of Discovery: Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s Sailing Classroom and Tideline Programs: sample the full range of Clearwater’s education programs. Kids welcome (extra fee). Leaving from the dock at the south end of Victor C. Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie.

Photo at right by Domitila Rios, Newburgh Free Academy student & participant, 2016 Newburgh History Adventure.