Fort Johnson Middle Goes to Washington

Fort Johnson Middle Goes to Washington

Fort Johnson Eighth-graders perform well at state history competition, seek funding for run at national competition

May 15, 2013 

by Charlie Morrison, Community Editor

On James Island our nation’s history is all around us. It’s as present in our everyday lives as Spanish moss on a Live Oak.

Yet for all the living history that surrounds us, getting new generations of James Islanders to appreciate our history and learn from the lessons of the past is no easy task. Fort Johnson Middle School (FJMS) is taking steps to make sure younger generations grow to appreciate our collective history, particularly our uniquely rich local history.

As part of a class-wide research project, each of the 180 8th grade students at FJMS completed and submitted documentary projects as part National History Day (NHD), an academic competition, in which more than a half-million kids nationwide annually participate.

At the State championships, a trio of groups from FJMS swept the Junior Group Documentary category, taking home first, second, and third place. In doing so they qualified to enter their projects in the National competition, held in Washington, D.C. As yet, their only hurdle is raising some money for travel expenses.

Chad Shealy and Will Lacey won first place for “Massachusetts 54th and Fort Wagner”

Chad Shealy and Will Lacey won first place for “Massachusetts 54th and Fort Wagner”

The first place documentary, put together by Will Lacey and Chad Shealy, followed the trail of the 54th Massachusetts up Folly Beach to the Battle of Fort Wagner. Michael D’Annunzio, Ethan Grantham, Zach Hunter, and Aldo Moreno-Reyes went back in time to hunker down in Charleston as the infamous pirate Blackbeard held the city hostage. For their efforts, they took home second place. Mackenzie Jenkins and Nancy Sterrett brought home third-place for their documentary on Pelzer, S.C. and its mill, the first in the world built specifically to generate power for manufacturing.

Ethan Grantham, Michael D'Annunzio, Zach Hunter and Aldo Moreno-Reyes - Blackbeard - Darkness on the Horizon

Ethan Grantham, Michael D’Annunzio, Zach Hunter and Aldo Moreno-Reyes – Blackbeard – Darkness on the Horizon

The stated goal of the NHD is to “(make) History come alive for America’s youth by engaging them in local, state, nationwide competitions along with transforming teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.” The study of local history is one aspect of the NHD’s program, which also opens itself up to the study of our national and world history as well.

According to FJMS Social Studies Dept. Chair Matt Carney, participating in the program is an easy call. Last year the school accepted volunteer submissions. This year, they were mandatory. FJMS is taking the interpretation of history seriously, say Carney, who adds, “The program also teaches students to become technologically literate through the use of computer and Internet research methods, and the use of technologically advanced applications in their presentations.

Nancy Sterrett and Mackenzie Jenkins -  Pelzer Mill Town

Nancy Sterrett and Mackenzie Jenkins – Pelzer Mill Town

“(We have been) scrambling to find funding for the students and parents’ registration, travel, and lodging expenses,” says Carney. “How quick would we pay for a school to attend an athletic competition at the national level?” he says.

Carney and his colleagues at FJMS have created a website in support of the cause. To dotate or provide other aid to the group go towww.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/help-the-fort-johnson-ms-national-history-day-competitors-compete-nationally/56387 . For more information on the state competition seesc.nhd.org/ud/php/winnersPubResultsSTATE.php?cid=7#15112. Fort Johnson Middle School can be found on the web at ftjohnson.ccsdschools.com.

Fort Johnson Middle Goes to Washington

Fort Johnson Eighth-graders perform well at state history competition, seek funding for run at national competition

Chad Shealy and Will Lacey won first place for “Massachusetts 54th and Fort Wagner,” Ethan Grantham, Michael D'Annunzio, Zach Hunter, and Aldo Moreno-Reyes got second with “Blackbeard: Darkness on the Horizon,” and Nancy Sterrett and Mackenzie Jenkins won third for “Pelzer Mill Town”Chad Shealy and Will Lacey won first place for “Massachusetts 54th and Fort Wagner,” Ethan Grantham, Michael D’Annunzio, Zach Hunter, and Aldo Moreno-Reyes got second with “Blackbeard: Darkness on the Horizon,” and Nancy Sterrett and Mackenzie Jenkins won third for “Pelzer Mill Town”

May 15, 2013
by Charlie Morrison, Community Editor

On James Island our nation’s history is all around us. It’s as present in our everyday lives as Spanish moss on a Live Oak.

Yet for all the living history that surrounds us, getting new generations of James Islanders to appreciate our history and learn from the lessons of the past is no easy task. Fort Johnson Middle School (FJMS) is taking steps to make sure younger generations grow to appreciate our collective history, particularly our uniquely rich local history.

As part of a class-wide research project, each of the 180 8th grade students at FJMS completed and submitted documentary projects as part National History Day (NHD), an academic competition, in which more than a half-million kids nationwide annually participate.

At the State championships, a trio of groups from FJMS swept the Junior Group Documentary category, taking home first, second, and third place. In doing so they qualified to enter their projects in the National competition, held in Washington, D.C. As yet, their only hurdle is raising some money for travel expenses.

The first place documentary, put together by Will Lacey and Chad Shealy, followed the trail of the 54th Massachusetts up Folly Beach to the Battle of Fort Wagner. Michael D’Annunzio, Ethan Grantham, Zach Hunter, and Aldo Moreno-Reyes went back in time to hunker down in Charleston as the infamous pirate Blackbeard held the city hostage. For their efforts, they took home second place. Mackenzie Jenkins and Nancy Sterrett brought home third-place for their documentary on Pelzer, S.C. and its mill, the first in the world built specifically to generate power for manufacturing.

The stated goal of the NHD is to “(make) History come alive for America’s youth by engaging them in local, state, nationwide competitions along with transforming teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.” The study of local history is one aspect of the NHD’s program, which also opens itself up to the study of our national and world history as well.

According to FJMS Social Studies Dept. Chair Matt Carney, participating in the program is an easy call. Last year the school accepted volunteer submissions. This year, they were mandatory. FJMS is taking the interpretation of history seriously, say Carney, who adds, “The program also teaches students to become technologically literate through the use of computer and Internet research methods, and the use of technologically advanced applications in their presentations.

“(We have been) scrambling to find funding for the students and parents’ registration, travel, and lodging expenses,” says Carney. “How quick would we pay for a school to attend an athletic competition at the national level?” he says.

Carney and his colleagues at FJMS have created a website in support of the cause. To dotate or provide other aid to the group go towww.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/help-the-fort-johnson-ms-national-history-day-competitors-compete-nationally/56387 . For more information on the state competition seesc.nhd.org/ud/php/winnersPubResultsSTATE.php?cid=7#15112. Fort Johnson Middle School can be found on the web at ftjohnson.ccsdschools.com.

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