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

Sandy Ground: a appearance straight 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 established a big petition making it a necessary area of the New York school curriculum that is public.

Sandy Ground, located in Rossville, had been an oystering town established, in part, by those who were free of enslavement in 1827.

It’s the continuously that is oldest inhabited free settlement for individuals of African lineage in the usa; is known to possess been an end from the Underground Railroad; and is now home to landmarked historic structures therefore the Sandy Ground Historical Society.

The lady whom developed the petition, whom asked become identified by her very first title, Renee, ended up being disappointed to observe that the iconic bit of Staten Island history wasn’t incorporated into her son’s grade that is fourth studies curriculum.

The 39-year-old Rosebank mother stated that the main 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 into the mail through the DOE, ” Renee told the Advance/ “The guide is actually really good, and possesses the annals of Irish, Italian, Jewish immigrants, Native Us citizens, plus some history that is black too. It just made me think — hey, how about Sandy Ground? ”

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

“It is told as an element of Staten Island’s tale, ” D’Alessandro said. “This community made contributions that are significant Staten Island as it began. It’s a essential section of 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 just a part that is vital of 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 every one of the nuances with regards to the real history of Ebony individuals in the nation. ”


Renee claims she first learned all about Sandy Ground two decades ago while attending the faculty of Staten Island, each time friend who’s a descendant for the settlement taught her about this.

On her behalf children, and also for the youth that is diverse Staten Island, Renee claims studying Sandy Ground will let them claim ownership and start to become pleased with their property borough.

“My young ones had been created and raised on Staten Island, and I want them to own that form of pride into the borough that they’re from, ” she stated. “I think having history that’s strongly related the youngsters in new york is very important. The youngsters of the latest York City come from various different backgrounds. ”

Linking pupils towards the settlement’s history is probably the objectives for the Sandy Ground Historical Society — the Society hosts field that is onsite, 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 when you look at the schools, by the instructors, within the textbooks while they explore Staten Island and its own growth, ” said D’Alessandro. “All of this individuals which make town up need certainly to be included. ”

Studying folks from diverse backgrounds additionally helps tackle racism at its root, states Paige.

“It’s not only that kiddies of African lineage want to see by themselves reflected at school literary works, but kiddies who have been racialized as white — which just about everybody has been — and recognize as white need certainly to look at value therefore the efforts of people of African lineage to your founding that is nation’s constant history, ” Paige explained.

“Students should try to learn that everyone is roofed into the success associated with the united states of america. We all have been provided in that history, ” Paige added.