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Readington Middle School 8th grade students present ‘Project Citizen’ and ‘US History Capstone Project’ Showcase

READINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – Commissioner Director Jeff Kuhl and Deputy Director Susan Soloway along with Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi and Chief of Detectives Tim Drew last week attended Readington Middle School’s (RMS) “Project Citizen” and “US History Capstone Project” Showcase, an event that featured both civic and historical presentations by 8th grade students.

“I attended this showcase presentation last year and it is really great to learn more about public policy issues directly from our young people. This project is the ultimate lesson of learning by doing. These students are gaining knowledge and perspective on government and history that could never be achieved by just reading a book. The critical thinking skills these students have developed gives me hope for the Future of America,” Kuhl said.

Students participating in the “Project Citizen”, choose an issue or problem within the community, and then identify solutions in the form of policy that requires government involvement by following a five-step project plan. Topics for projects included themes such as, Animal Therapy in Schools, School Lunch Quality, Alcohol Abuse, Air Pollution in New Jersey, No Kill Animal Shelters, Foreign Aid, Inflation, Bullying, and Overdevelopment in Hunterdon County, to name a few.

Deputy Director Susan Soloway listened to various presentations and said, “I am most impressed with the thought process and work that each of these students have put into their projects. These history presentations are a great example of a practical, first-hand approach to learning about important events in American history and how they have shaped our country.”

The “US History Capstone Project” required students to research a historical topic and provide a brief oral presentation on the significance of the event, why the topic was chosen, and the effectthis event had on American culture. Topics in this category included, The Oregon Trail, Salem Witch Trials, The Boston Massacre, Annie Oakley in the Wild West, Billy the Kid: The Most Notorious Outlaw, and Who Discovered America?

The Project Citizen curriculum is teacher led and emphasizes the fundamentals of the public policymaking process. The teacher’s guide features detailed instruction and sample worksheets for students to complete that stimulates the curriculum’s cumulative activity into the completion of a project portfolio.

This Showcase Project is a way for students to display their research discoveries and present their policy solutions to their classroom and community. Showcases are also held at the state and national levels, where classes have the opportunity to participate and share their work with other classes from across their state or nation.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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