Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Local Students ‘Take a Stand’ at Manchester History Day Contest: Feb. 25 at Manchester High School


Manchester – Nearly 200 middle and high school students will participate in the annual Manchester Regional History Day Contest set to take place at Manchester High School on Saturday, February 25. Volunteer judges will assess original student exhibits, performances, documentaries, websites and papers and send the top three projects from each category to the State History Day Contest where they will compete against winners from the state’s five other regional contests. The public and media are invited to attend the competition and view student projects between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. At 1 p.m. Kandie Carle, aka “The Victorian Lady,” will provide a living history performance for attendees as she depicts life during the 1890s.  An Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. where State Representatives Jeff Currey and Mark Tweedie will honor winning students.
Students representing towns and cities in the Manchester area will be participating in the February 25th contest. Participants will begin presenting to teams of judges at 9 a.m. Signage will be displayed around the school, directing attendees where to go for particular contests. The teams of judges – consisting of local educators, historians and history lovers – will review the projects and choose the top three in each category. More information about the day’s events, including the schedule, can be found here at the program’s website. Financial support for the Manchester Regional Contest is provided by Connecticut Humanities.
Towns being represented at the Manchester History Day Regional Contest can be found here.
Students, who have now spent months developing their projects, based their entries on this year’s National History Day® theme, Taking a Stand in History.  Participants work alone or in groups and enter their project into one of five History Day categories: exhibits, documentaries, website, paper, and performance. The State History Day Contest is scheduled to take place at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Saturday, April 29.
Results from the Manchester Regional Contest will be posted to the Connecticut History Day website, www.historydayct.org, on Monday, February 27. For more information on the contest and the program, contact CHD State Coordinator Rebecca Taber-Conover at 860.522.6766 ext. 11 or rebecca.taber-conover@cga.ct.gov.
Connecticut History Day is an affiliate program of National History Day (NHD)®.  It is led by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN) with support from the Connecticut State Department of Education, Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, the Connecticut League of History Organizations, Connecticut Explored Magazine, and ConnecticutHistory.org.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Better Together? Connecticut's Regionalism Debate" - Conversations at Noon on Tuesday, February 21 at Connecticut's Old State House

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For Immediate Release
February 7, 2017
Contact:
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
Hartford, CT - Almost sixty years after Connecticut abolished its county governments, there’s a new push to reduce municipal spending through regional cooperation.
On Tuesday, February 21 at noon, Historian Bruce Clouette will review the history of Connecticut’s former county system and how the important roles of local governments have changed over time during the February installment of Conversations at Noon. Following Clouette’s talk, the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will moderate a panel discussion on current efforts to promote regional cooperation with the Former Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Brendan Sharkey, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Councils of Small Towns (COST) Betsy Gara, and the Connecticut Mirror’s reporter on local urban and regional issues, Tom Condon. 
This installment of Conversations at Noon is free and open to the public thanks to the support of Connecticut Humanities.
Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop provides visitors an opportunity to purchase Connecticut, Hartford and Old State House-themed gifts, products and apparel. For more information on admission prices, school programs, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, follow Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the museum online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Connecticut’s Kid Governor-Elect to be Inaugurated at Connecticut’s Old State House: Friday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m.

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Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Hartford, CT  - On Friday, January 13 Connecticut’s Old State House will host Inauguration Day 2017, where the next Connecticut’s Kid Governor (CKG), Jessica Brocksom of Milford, will officially be sworn into office by Connecticut’s Secretary of the State Denise Merrill in front of a gathering of students, teachers and legislative leaders.

Inauguration Day 2017 is not open to the public; however local media is invited to attend. The day’s events will begin with an official inauguration ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Courtroom located on the main floor of the Old State House. An analog XLR audio feed will be available from the house sound system located in the back of the Courtroom. Cables are not permitted on the floor of the Courtroom, please plan accordingly. The CKG-Elect Jessica Brocksom, along with CKG officials, will be available to take questions after the ceremony.
Those in attendance will include students and teachers from schools who had a final candidate in this past year’s election, as well as various dignitaries and legislative leaders. Following Jessica’s inauguration, students will participate in a day-long educational program where they will explore Connecticut’s Old State House, meet representatives from the state’s three branches of government and take part in other civics-related activities. The inauguration ceremonies will be live streamed on the Connecticut’s Kid Governor Facebook page. A snow date of Friday, February 3 has been set in case of inclement weather. Announcements will be made on the Connecticut’s Old State House and Connecticut’s Kid Governor Facebook pages if Inauguration Day 2017 must be postponed due to weather.

Schools attending Inauguration Day 2017 include:
·         Martin Elementary School (Milford)
·         Plantsville Elementary School (Southington)
·         Thomas Hooker Elementary School (Meriden)
·         John F. Kennedy School (Milford)
·         Highland Park Elementary School (Manchester)
·         Thomaston Center School (Thomaston)
·         Woodside Intermediate School (Cromwell)

The Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN) created the Connecticut’s Kid Governor program in 2015 to teach fifth grade students about state government, elections and the importance of civics engagement. Fifth grade classrooms across the state were invited to nominate a student to run for Kid Governor and to vote in this past year’s election. From the pool of seven final CKG candidates, Jessica Brocksom of John F. Kennedy School in Milford was elected by her peers to become the next Connecticut’s Kid Governor thanks to her successful campaign promoting the humane treatment of animals. The final candidates’ campaign videos are still available for viewing here at the program’s website, CT.KidGovernor.org. Jessica will succeed Elena Tipton of East Hartford, who won the 2015 statewide election and served as Connecticut’s Kid Governor throughout the past year while promoting her “Campaign for Kindness.” Over the next year, the new Kid Governor Jessica will work with the team at CPAN to achieve her campaign goals by maintaining a blog, meeting with constituents, taking part in CPAN public programs, and encouraging students across the state to take action in promoting the humane treatment of animals.

Connecticut’s Kid Governor (CKG) is a national award-winning statewide civics program created by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN). CKG is sponsored by the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies and the State Department of Education. The free program, which is in its second year, teaches fifth graders across the state about government, elections, and the importance of civics engagement through a real-life election that’s timed to coincide with Election Day in November. Each officially registered fifth grade class in Connecticut is eligible to either enter one student candidate into the election, vote for the next Kid Governor based on a platform or community issue that the CKG candidates campaign on, or both. Winner of a 2016 Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History, the Connecticut’s Kid Governor program inspires students to be lifelong agents of change, active participants in our government, and registered voters when they turn 18. For more information on CKG - both the program and the student – as well as the 2016 CKG Election, follow Connecticut’s Kid Governor on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or visit the program’s website at CT.KidGovernor.org.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Statement from the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN) on the closing of Connecticut's Old State House

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
 
 
(Hartford, CT) For the past eight years, the Connecticut Public Affairs Network has had the privilege of managing educational and community programming at Connecticut’s Old State House.  During that time, we have worked diligently to bring our state’s rich history and civic life together through our school programs and visitor experience, our public programs like Town Hall Meetings and Conversations at Noon, and our statewide outreach with school programs like Connecticut History Day and Connecticut’s Kid Governor.  We have played an active role in the larger conversation about civic engagement and civil discourse with organizations like the Civic Health Advisory Group, and garnered national recognition for many of our initiatives.  In all, we have been tireless in our efforts to imbue the Old State House with new purpose:  one that served and inspired the citizens of our state, and honored the tradition of a building that served as a seat of Connecticut’s government in the days of our nation’s infancy.

In the past few weeks we have seen that even a state icon can fall victim to our new economic reality, and it is with great regret that we see our contract to be the programmers of a place we have long loved come to an end.  As the General Assembly continues to work with the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection to transition the Old State House to DEEP’s stewardship, we stand ready – if called upon – to help shepherd yet another new era for the building.  Regardless of the outcome, CPAN’s educational focus and commitment to civic engagement remains unchanged and our organization will forge ahead with projects in the same spirit as those that had become synonymous with Connecticut’s Old State House.  We offer our deepest thanks to our many partners and collaborators so instrumental to our success and we look forward to working with you again soon.
 
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Connecticut Students Win at National History Day Contest: Contest took place June 12-16 at the University of Maryland

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For Immediate Release
June 17, 2016
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 522-6766

Mia Porcello - 2016 NHD Champion
in Jr. Individual Exhibit
College Park, MD/Hartford, CT – Sixty-eight Connecticut students represented the state and the Connecticut History Day (CHD) program during the prestigious 2016 National History Day® Contest at the University of Maryland this past week. CHD, a statewide history program led by Connecticut’s Old State House, sent the state’s delegation to the annual contest to compete against 2,900 students from across the country. Several students won awards at the NHD Contest, resulting in the most successful year in the program’s history:

• Mia Porcello, a middle school student from St. Timothy School in West Hartford, captured a national title by winning First Place in the Junior Individual Exhibit Category for her entry Florence Wald: Exploring Medical Boundaries, Exchanging Hospitals to Hospice.

CHD Winners at NHD 2016 Contest
• Shay Pezzulo, a high school student from Classical Magnet School in Hartford, captured CHD’s second national title of the year by winning First Place in the Senior Individual Website Category for her entry Duel and Duality: New Journalism, New York. Pezzulo also attended "Breakfast on the Hill" with members of Congress during her trip to the NHD Contest - an event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

• Juliana Rodrigues, Max Bueno, Samantha Gilbert, Emily Strickland and Joseph Zarif, students from Memorial Middle School in Middlebury, won two Special Awards for their project, Alexander Hamilton Explores a Financial System for the New Nation of America. The awards included the U.S. Constitution Award and Special Award in History in the Federal Government.

• The Outstanding Connecticut Entry Award from the Senior Division was awarded to Nicole Wood, Juliana Salamone, Katherine Hurst and Flora Dievenich for their group project, Women Airforce Service Pilots and the Flight for Equality. They are students at Greenwich High School and were also finalists in the Senior Group Performance Category.

• The Outstanding Connecticut Entry Award from the Junior Division was awarded to Hunter Dale and Noah Vasington for their group project, Branch Rickey: Branching Off to New Ideas. They are students at Mansfield Middle School in Storrs and were also finalists in the Junior Group Exhibit Category.

Rosie the Riveter, an exhibit created by Claire Graham, Hana Previte, Isabel Saltzman, and Lauren White was one of only 57 projects featured at the National Museum of American History’s "National History Night" on Wednesday, June 15. They are students at Wilton High School, in Wilton, CT.

"Good strategic thinking by our History Day team has increased the number of students who learn and grow through this program," said Sally Whipple, Executive Director of Connecticut’s Old State House. "Old State House workshops, resources and coaching have helped students develop high quality projects based on sound research. We serve thousands of students through this program, but more important than the number served, is the quality of that service. Students develop critical thinking, writing and research skills, along with increased confidence, curiosity and the ability to ask and find answers to compelling questions. The Old State House staff strives to do this every day through all of its programs. It’s great to see student work that we’ve helped nurture receive the highest National History Day honors possible."

During their stay at the five day contest, the Connecticut Delegation spent time exploring Washington, D.C. They toured the U.S. Capitol Building and were able to observe a filibuster from the Senate Gallery. Students also enjoyed the opportunity to visit and tour the National World War II Monument.

Connecticut History Day is made possible by the leadership of Connecticut’s Old State House and a strong collaboration among many of Connecticut’s history organizations. CHD is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and a passion for learning and sharing history – with the goal of encouraging students to develop a life-long interest in Connecticut’s rich stories, archives, historic buildings and museum collections. CHD is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, funded by Connecticut Humanities and supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, Central Connecticut State University and scores of historical societies and civic groups who provide special prizes at the state level. To learn more about Connecticut History Day visit the program’s website, www.historydayct.org, or follow CHD on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Connecticut’s Old State House wins 2016 AASLH Award of Merit for the Connecticut’s Kid Governor civics program

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Local Contact:
Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 522-6766
Connecticut’s Old State House

AASLH Contact:
Bethany Hawkins
hawkins@aaslh.org
(615) 320-3203

NASHVILLE, TN - The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that Connecticut’s Old State House is the recipient of an Award of Merit for its statewide civics program, Connecticut’s Kid Governor. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 71st year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Connecticut’s Kid Governor is a statewide, in-school civics program for 5th graders that was created by Connecticut’s Old State House in 2015. Timed to coincide with Election Day in November, each school in Connecticut is eligible to enter one student candidate into a statewide election that other 5th graders vote in. With the goal of inspiring young students to be lifelong agents of change, active participants in our government and registered voters when they turn 18, this innovative program illustrates how elections work and how Connecticut residents of all ages can choose to participate in our democratic society. This past fall, hundreds of Connecticut 5th graders participated in the program’s first ever election and Elena Tipton, a 5th grade student at Dr. Thomas O’Connell School in East Hartford, became the first Connecticut’s Kid Governor after running on a campaign for kindness. You can learn more about Connecticut’s Kid Governor, both the program and the student, by visiting the program’s website, CT.KidGovernor.org.
 
This year, AASLH is proud to confer sixty-three national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2016 AASLH/MMA Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, on Friday, September 16. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.

Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. Now serving as one of the state’s most-historically significant museums, the Old State House offers interactive and participatory school programs that focus on the history of the building, the role Connecticut played during the 18th and 19th centuries, civic participation and how government works. In addition to the Connecticut’s Kid Governor program, Connecticut’s Old State House also leads Connecticut History Day, another statewide school program that has encouraged thousands of Connecticut students in grades 6-12 to explore local, state, national and world history. For more information on admission prices, school programs, and upcoming events, follow Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the museum online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Connecticut’s Old State House Welcomes Nationally-Renowned Speaker Eric Liu to Next Town Hall Meeting

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For Immediate Release
May 26, 2016
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Eric Liu, Founder of Citizen
University and Keynote Speaker
Hartford, CT – Connecticut’s Old State House will host its next Town Hall Meeting, Great Citizenship: Building a Better Connecticut, during the evening of Thursday, June 9 where nationally-renowned author Eric Liu will be the keynote speaker.

Great Citizenship will review the insights of Connecticut residents’ social behavior toward their neighbors, communities, and government, which were revealed in the 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index Report. The Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will moderate the program, which will include a panel of distinguished guests including Liu, Martha McCoy of Everyday Democracy, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Dr. Bilal Sekou of the University of Hartford, Dr. Richard Brown of the University of Connecticut, and Alma Maya, a Latina Community Activist and Former Bridgeport Town Clerk.

Eric Liu is the founder and CEO of Citizen University and the author of several books, including his latest: The Gardens of Democracy. He previously served as a White House speechwriter and policy advisor for President Bill Clinton. Currently, he is a regular columnist for CNN.com and correspondent for TheAtlantic.com. Copies of Liu’s book are currently available for purchase in Connecticut’s Old State House Shop. He will be available for books signings on the night of the event from 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Connecticut’s Old State House will open its doors for this event at 6 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Great Citizenship: Building a Better Connecticut is sponsored by the Connecticut Civic Health Advisory Group, Connecticut’s Old State House, Connecticut Network (CT-N), Everyday Democracy, DataHaven, the Office of the Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, The Connecticut Forum and CT Parent Power. Funding is provided by Connecticut Humanities, the William Caspar Graustein Fund, Connecticut Campus Compact and private donors.

Located in historic downtown Hartford, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building and online at shop.ctoldstatehouse.org, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase Connecticut, Hartford and Old State House-themed gifts, products and apparel. For more information on admission prices, school programs, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, follow Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit the museum online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.