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Ancestry Summer Program Exhibit Opening
August 5 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
The New London County Historical Society, in partnership with the New London Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, began a summer program to community youth at the Shaw Mansion. Ed Chmielewski said, “Our executive director Steve Manuel began the program 5 years ago, and it has proven to be a success. Our goal is to engage local children in their history and the history of our county. This year our program is about family and ancestry”. The Ancestry program encourages children ages 4-15 to discuss their families and how they came to be in New London county. Working with our educators, the program youth discover and describe their personal history. Together we learn about their family and how their history is a part of the history of our community. “As we explore the families of our students we learn who it is who cares for them. We recognize that all families are unique and we are not simply focusing on genetics and genealogy. We ask our students to describe their lives on their terms, while we talk about our own personal families,” Mr. Chmielewski explained.
The curriculum is designed to be immersive and encourage students to observe and report their findings in a personal journal. Each student may express themselves in a way which makes them feel comfortable, from writing stories, recording facts, or even drawing pictures. Additionally, the program illustrates how the student’s families and their history is important to the history of New London. Using artifacts, documents, maps, and local history stories, the program draws connections to the student’s present day families, and demonstrates how historical family structures were just as complex as they are today.