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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Jul 26

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Staff Joins with SPARK to Make History Fun

Posted on July 26, 2017 at 8:38 AM by Communications Department

Recently, staff from the Historical Services Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism took part in Newport News Public Schools Summer Program for Arts, Recreation and Knowledge (SPARK). Museum staff engaged with students at Teaching History 1_SCPalmer Elementary School by talking about various aspects of the Historic Services Division.

Special Projects Manager Claire Murphy discussed the historic preservation of the city’s buildings and sites, emphasizing why history is important to study. Archaeologist Aaron Lamb shared artifacts recovered from local digs; his cache of intriguing items ranged from Colonial pottery to a 21st Century Coke bottle. Living Historian Mary Kayaselcuk portrayed a World War I Salvation Army doughnut girl. The students learned about the rigors of trench warfare and how 250 women volunteers sent to France influenced the outcome of the Great War, not with guns, but by serving simple fried pastries with coffee and a smile. The program happily concluded with doughnuts for everyone.

The SPARK Program is a partnership where local businesses, museums, non-profit organizations and city Teaching History 2_SCagencies provide an engaging menu of offerings for students four days a week during the summer. Children who are without access to summer learning programs are at particular risk of losing the academic, social and emotional gains they accrued during the school year. Just as after school programs have the potential to support student learning, so do summer learning programs. Newport News Public Schools launched SPARK to ensure that students have access to extended learning opportunities. Meals and transportation are provided and there are no tuition costs for kindergarten through eighth-grade students, making this initiative a great opportunity for young people across the city. Find more information about SPARK on the NNPS website.