Seward Secures State Funding for History Program

James L. Seward

April 20, 2017

10,000 students participate in statewide educational program

ONEONTA, 04/20/17 – 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.  The announcement coincides with the statewide judging of student projects taking place in Cooperstown April 23-24.

"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 2017-18 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, almost 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, “I have been involved in History Day for three decades, and the work of these students, their enthusiasm and pride in their projects, has inspired and moved me.  I am overwhelmed by the commitment from New York State and wish to thank Senator Seward for his continued dedication to this valuable statewide competition.”

Erin Richardson, director of museum collections added, “National History Day in New York has become a vital opportunity for students to gain essential teamwork and leadership skills while engaging in self-directed learning.  History Day alumni (myself included) find the experience to be a pivotal one for personal and academic growth in their formative years.  We appreciate Senator Seward’s support for this engaging 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 making the trip to Cooperstown for the final state judging,” added Senator Seward.

This year’s National History Day theme is Taking a Stand in History.  Statewide winners will travel to the University of Maryland for the national competition, June 11-15.