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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 11, 2006
Contact: Margaret Renn 973-596-8500 ext. 236

Exhibition Features Projects Ranging from Local History to a
Study of New Jersey’s Musical Culture

An exhibition created by students from Essex High School in Passaic; Carteret Middle School in Carteret; and four homeschooling families from the F.R.E.E. Homeschool Network of Northern New Jersey will be on display through May 2007, as part of the 9th Annual Adopt-A-School program of The New Jersey Historical Society, 52 Park Place, Newark, New Jersey.

Projects include an exploration of New Jersey’s Music Culture: From Blues to Hip Hop, a retrospective look at 100 Years of Carteret’s history, and a study of the Free Union Schoolhouse in Great Meadows. Students will be on hand to describe the process of creating their projects at the opening reception of the exhibition, held on Thursday, May 18, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

A small group of student musicians from Essex High School studied the history of New Jersey's musical culture. Through research, the students explored the impact of culture, fashion, and world events on the development of music from the Blues to Jazz and Rock to Hip Hop in New Jersey. Their part of the exhibition highlights artists who are from or who helped shape music in the Garden State. Through a creative timeline of music and culture, informational booklets, and two songs composed, performed and produced by the students themselves, the students share their findings and how world events and personal experiences affect music today.

A group of seventh graders from Carteret Middle School researched and documented their changing community as it celebrates its centennial. Through research and oral history interviews, students explored the past 100 years of Carteret to learn more about where they live and to help preserve its history. The students present their findings in a three-dimensional map, historic images, and profiles of life-long Carteret residents.

Four homeschooling families from the F.R.E.E. Homeschool Network researched the Free Union Schoolhouse, a one-room schoolhouse in Great Meadows from 1835 to 1945. Each family focused on a specific area of the schoolhouse: architecture and the physical structure, the students, the teachers, and the surrounding community. They displayed their research findings in a scale model of the schoolhouse, writings, images, and life-size student cutouts in period dress.

The New Jersey Historical Society's Adopt-a-School Program allows teachers and students to collaborate with Historical Society educators on multiple-visit programs that make use of the Historical Society's collections. Participants in the three schools designed and created the curriculum-related projects. All students in the program learned how a museum exhibition is put together, and designed their own section of this exhibit.

The Adopt-a-School Program engages participants, encouraging them to learn actively from primary sources. Through these hands-on projects, students benefit by expressing themselves in a manner that's best for them - through art, writing, and group interaction – and relate more personally to those events. Participants learn how to explore the past through primary sources and feel comfortable in the Historical Society's galleries and library.

The New Jersey Historical Society –It’s a museum, a library, and an archives, and it's all about New Jersey. Explore interactive exhibitions, research local history and your own personal roots, participate in family and adult programs, and enjoy lectures and walking tours. Admission is free to the exhibition galleries and most programs. Museum hours are Tues. through Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Library hours, Wed., Thurs., and Sat. 12 noon to 5 p.m. www.jerseyhistory.org .

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