29
Jun 2012
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STATEN ISLAND, NY --- To bring a different learning experience to youngsters, the Staten Island Community Partnership, 49 Strong and Global Kids have partnered to sponsor a half-day field trip for students at PS 44, Mariner’s Harbor, to the historic Sandy Ground in Rossville on Monday, May 14, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Sandy Ground, founded around 1830, is the oldest free black settlement in the United States. The youngsters will be taken on a tour inside the Sandy Ground museum where they will learn the history of the freed slaves and free black Maryland oystermen who settled Sandy Ground.

“We want the students to have an experience that would bring them a sense of pride about themselves and their Staten Island ancestry, explained Jack Chernak, the Youth, Mentorship and Educational Co-chair of the Staten Island Community Partnership.

Sylvia D’Alessandro, executive director of the Sandy Ground Historical Society, noticed that students from PS 44 had not visited the museum on a field trip.

“I contacted one of the teachers at P.S.44 and she stated that the children could not afford the $5 per student admission fee. I felt that the students in P.S. 44 could benefit from learning about this history and certainly should be as knowledgeable about the subject as children from the other schools on Staten Island who visit the Museum from both the North and South Shore of Staten Island, said Ms. D’Alessandro.

“I contacted individuals and organizations that I felt would sponsor the trip for the 216 students in the third and fourth grades at P.S. 44. When I explained the situation to the Staten Island Community Partnership, they immediately contacted the school and arranged for the first group of students from P.S.44 to come to Sandy Ground on May 14, 2012, Ms. D’Alessandro said.

“We are so pleased that there are individuals and groups that will assist us in providing information that is not readily available in the schools to as many children as possible. Jack Chernak is an alumni of P.S.44 and was personally committed to see this happen. Thanks to Jack and The Community Partnership for their work, Ms. D’Alessandro said.

Chernak, founder of Chernak Media Group, recently received an honorarium from Global Kids, which he donated to the Sandy Ground Historical Society to fund the student trip. Assisting with the field trip is Ms. Wanda Williams, the parent coordinator at PS 44.

“I want to thank Adinah Ben-Yahudah and Sandra Graydon Long for their guidance. It was their vision that was shared with the Staten Island Community Partnership Program that made this possible, said Chernak. “I also want to thank Evie Hantzopoulos and Usman Farooq and Ranti Ogunleye at Global Kids for awarding me with an honorarium, which is helping so many youngsters and the Sandy Ground museum.

The Staten Island Community Partnership Program will be co-sponsoring a field trip in June for its mentees and other students at IS 49 Berta A Dreyfus School.

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