Saturday, April 24, 2010

Staten Island 350

In 2011 Staten Island will celebrate the 350th anniversary of its founding. It will be a year devoted to historical investigation and cultural appreciation, to community boosting and neighborhood boasting, to visiting dozens of Staten Island's historical sites, and scaling new heights of understanding about New York's Fifth Borough.

Already there is a website devoted to this celebration that is chock full of activities, games, lessons, maps, and many other exciting features. At the heart of this celebration is the designation of Staten Island's top 350 historical sites divided into a dozen themes that correspond to 12 specially marked history trails that are still under development. These trails will include information about the military, education, transportation, business, food, entertainment, sports, architecture, and other such topics. Teachers will be encouraged to make these sites and trails the subject of many of their lessons and ordinary citizens will have opportunities to explore the Island through these trails in exciting new ways.

Next year is going to be an amazing one for Staten Island because of a terrific group of people who have come together to transform this anniversary into something more than a simple celebration. Thanks to their careful planning and impressive expertise, 2011 will prove to be a year of close study and rich exploration, a time to rediscover Staten Island's surprising history and endless diversity. It should turn out to be a whole lot of fun as well.

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