Staten Island mother petitions for Sandy Ground to be expected in DOE curriculum

Staten Island mother petitions for Sandy Ground to be expected in DOE curriculum

Sandy Ground: a appearance right right back

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — On Staten Island’s Southern Shore sits a rich little bit of history, and a Staten Island girl has generated a big petition to really make it a needed area of the ny school curriculum that is public.

Sandy Ground, located in Rossville, had been an oystering town founded, in component, by individuals who had been free of enslavement in 1827.

It’s the earliest continuously inhabited free settlement for people of African lineage in the us; is known to possess been an end regarding the Underground Railroad; and it is now home to landmarked historic structures plus the Sandy Ground Historical Society.

The lady whom created the petition, whom asked become identified by her very first title, Renee, had been disappointed to observe that the iconic little bit of Staten Island history wasn’t contained in her son’s 4th grade social studies curriculum.

The 39-year-old Rosebank mother said that an element of the grade that is fourth set by the Department of Education (DOE) could be the reputation for nyc.

“We got my son’s social studies textbook within the mail through the DOE, ” Renee told the Advance/ “The guide is truly really good, and possesses a brief history of Irish, Italian, Jewish immigrants, Native People in the us, plus some history that is black too. It simply made me think — hey, think about Sandy Ground? ”

Sylvia D’Alessandro, executive manager and founding person in the Sandy Ground Historical Society, is a descendant for the initial groups of town and spent my youth here.

“It should really be told as part of Staten Island’s tale, ” D’Alessandro stated. “This community made contributions that are significant Staten Island as it started. It’s a essential element of brand new York’s history all together.

Public historian Debbie-Ann Paige, whoever expertise is within the reputation for communities of color on Staten Island, agrees that Sandy Ground is really a vital element of brand new York’s past.

You would have to include Sandy Ground, as a free community that is still in existence, ” said Paige“If you’re telling the story of New York. “The community holds through all the nuances with regards to the real history of Ebony individuals in the country. ”


Renee claims she first learned all about Sandy Ground two decades ago while attending the faculty of Staten Island, whenever a close buddy that is a descendant regarding the settlement taught her about this.

On her young ones, and for the youth that is diverse Staten Island, Renee claims studying Sandy Ground will permit them to claim ownership and become happy with their property borough.

“My children had been created and raised on Staten Island, and I also would like them to possess that kind of pride into the borough that they’re from, ” she said. “I think having history that is strongly related the youngsters in new york is essential. The children of brand new York City come from various different backgrounds. ”

Linking pupils towards the settlement’s history is amongst the objectives for the Sandy Ground Historical Society — the community hosts on-site industry trips, primarily for Staten Island pupils from 3rd to 5th grade, though schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan have begun visiting in the last few years, D’Alessandro stated.

“It should really be taught into the schools, by the instructors, within the textbooks because they speak about Staten Island as well as its development, ” said D’Alessandro. “All regarding the individuals that produce town up need certainly to be included. ”

Researching folks from diverse backgrounds additionally helps tackle racism at its root, claims Paige.

“It’s not only that kiddies of African lineage have to see on their own reflected in school literary works, but kiddies who’ve been racialized as white — which just about everyone has been — and recognize as white need certainly to start to see the value while the efforts of people of African lineage into the founding that is nation’s constant history, ” Paige explained.

“Students should find out that everyone is roofed when you look at the success of this united states of america. We all have been provided for the reason that past history, ” Paige added.