, Newburyport, MA

April 8, 2014

'Port Project' students thank community

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

This year, students of the Seven Crimson team at the Rupert Nock Middle School took part in a long-term, large-scale research initiative called “The Port Project” in celebration of our city’s 250th anniversary. The students selected their own Newburyport historical topics and developed their own projects in line with their individual strengths, talents and interests. Many Newburyport citizens and institutions generously provided the support and resources that made this project possible and enabled students to truly understand our city’s rich history.

Seven Crimson social studies students would sincerely like to thank (in no particular order):

Michael Mroz, executive director of the Custom House Maritime Museum, for opening the museum’s doors free of charge to students on weekends and on days that the museum was closed to the general public. Mr. Mroz worked to answer students’ questions, offered tours and insights, as well as provided research materials. The Custom House Maritime Museum has also generously offered to host our culminating activity, the May 23 exposition, in their galleries, again, free of charge.

The Cushing House Museum and Old Newbury Historical Society, specifically, curator Jay Williamson and Eva Jackman, lead docent. Mr. Williamson generously offered to open the museum to students free of charge, provide materials and assist students, along with Mrs. Jackman, in deepening their research and understanding of their selected topics. Students commented on just how much more they were able to learn and how much additional information they were able to gather thanks to these efforts.

The Newburyport Public Library Archives and staff, specifically, archivist Sharon Spieldenner. Students spent time after school, on weekends and during vacations researching in the archive center, receiving hours of assistance from staff and from many Newburyport citizens, historians and authors. Seventh-grade students would like to thank Marge Motes, Skip Motes, William and Liz Hallett, Mike Bulger, Cecile Pimentaland Linda Tulley for their patient assistance over the past months.

Ghlee Woodworth, local author and historian, provided invaluable information to students with their projects. Ghlee generously donated time and materials, along with providing tutorials of the Clipper Heritage Trail online. She sat for interviews, provided research assistance and guided many students in their learning.

There have been countless others who have contributed toward student learning and the further education about Newburyport’s storied history. To all parents, contacts and citizens, thank you.

This project has brought awareness to countless city residents who were previously unfamiliar with some of the institutions, programs and educational experiences Newburyport has to offer.

We hope that the exploration of and passion for our city’s history will continue, and we strongly urge everyone to visit and support these treasures that surround us.

We cordially invite the general public to the “Port Project” exposition. Please come support these wonderful students and learn about their discoveries made this year.

The “Port Project” will have its opening exposition at the Custom House Maritime Museum on Friday, May 23, from 6-8 p.m.

Seven Crimson Team

Rupert Nock Middle School, Newburyport