Seward Secures $125k for History Day

James L. Seward

April 23, 2018

Senator James L. Seward (right) reviews student history projects with Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, president and CEO of Fenimore Art Musem and The Farmers’ Museum during final judging of New York History Day.
10,000 students participate in program statewide with top prizes awarded in Cooperstown

COOPERSTOWN, 04/23/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) today announced that the recently approved state budget includes, at his insistence, $125,000 to continue the state’s participation in National History Day.  Senator Seward made the announcement while reviewing student projects during the New York State competition final judging taking place in Cooperstown.

"Students in our schools need to know more about history -- state, national and world,” said Senator Seward.  “State participation in National History Day promotes academic achievement, intellectual growth and offers the personal reward of knowing more about our past.  The program also shines a light on the Fenimore Art Museum and all the Otsego County based organization has to offer.”   

The 2018-19 state budget includes $125,000 for the non-profit Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown to coordinate statewide participation in National History Day. The program assists teachers and schools in meeting state learning standards by offering students a hands-on approach to the study of history. Each year, approximately 150 schools and more than 10,000 students in grades six through twelve participate across New York State.  Regional winners travel to Cooperstown, home of the Fenimore Art Museum, to present their projects for statewide honors.

Studies have shown that National History Day effectively helps raise student achievement scores in social studies, writing, math and science. 

Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, president and CEO of Fenimore Art Musem and The Farmers’ Museum said, ““It is truly inspiring to see the enthusiasm and energy that students across New York put into their National History Day projects. We are grateful to New York State and in particular to Senator Seward for ensuring that this valuable program continues to spark a passion for history among the youth of our state.”

Christina Ely Milliman, director of museum and library collections added, “National History Day in New York has become an integral program in our schools statewide. Students learn to use primary and secondary sources while conducting their research, various modes for creating a presentation, the power of teamwork, as well as practice in public speaking. All these competencies help students gain vital skills personally and academically that will translate into developing future professional leaders. We greatly appreciate Senator Seward's dedication and support for this meaningful education program.”

“The competition provides students with a creative outlet to truly express themselves and showcase their knowledge of history.  It also helps boost the Otsego County economy, with hundreds of students, teachers and family members traveling to Cooperstown for the final state judging – and hopefully many return trips as well,” added Senator Seward.

This year’s National History Day theme is Conflict and Compromise in History.  Statewide winners will travel to the University of Maryland for the national competition, June 10-14.