Philadelphia, PA. – Esperanza Academy Charter High School students will showcase their personal histories in the My Home, My History exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History next month.
Using primary documents from the National Archives and Records Administration, census records and personal interviews, the exhibit explores students’ identities through their family histories and the histories of the home in which they currently reside. More than a history project, their research gives insight as to who they are and where they belong in the context of their community.
This is the third year students have presented their exhibit in partnership with the National Archives and the second year that the National Museum of American Jewish History has hosted. These institutions along with the Philadelphia History Museum and the African American Museum of Philadelphia have supported the project through visits to their facilities and access to their own primary resources, holding workshops in how to utilize these documents and objects.
“Every year our students work extremely hard to produce exceptional work and deserve to be seen by as many as possible. This has helped our students get out of the walls of their neighborhood and, even for one night, be celebrated by genealogists, historians, parents, teachers, and all others who see their display,” says Celia Flores-Rivera, one of the teachers at Esperanza Academy facilitating this project, “My Home, My History are the stories that many students in Philadelphia have but don’t truly get to tell. At the end of the long journey, students feel linked even more to their family and are proud of the neighborhood they are from.”
“We are thrilled with our partnership with Esperanza,” says Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director. “Like the projects the Esperanza students created, our core exhibition explores the courage and imagination of individuals and families that chose America as their new home, their perseverance, hard work, and aspiration, the families and communities they build here, and the contributions of immigrants that make our country what it is.”
Esperanza Academy Charter School, which serves a student body that is 92% Hispanic and 8% African American, is located in the low-income Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia and is recognized as one of the country’s leading charter schools.
My Home, My History opens at the National Museum of American Jewish History with a reception honoring the participating student on June 3rd at 5:00 PM, and will be on display through June 16. The opening reception is free and open to the public.
Esperanza, the premiere Hispanic Evangelical faith-based network in the country, was founded in 1987 by the Reverend Luis Cortés Jr. and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. With a national network of over 13,000 Hispanic congregations, faith and community based agencies, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America. To read more, please visit www.esperanza.us.
The National Archives at Philadelphia is one of 15 archives across the United States that comprise the National Archives’ nationwide network. The National Archives is our nation’s official record keeper. It holds the permanent records that document the rights and entitlements of Americans and our national heritage.
The National Museum of American Jewish History, located on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, brings to life the more than 360-year history of Jews in America. Tracing the stories of how Jewish immigrants became Jewish Americans, the Museum invites visitors of all backgrounds to share their own stories and reflect on how their histories and identities shape and are shaped by the American experience. An open door for all, NMAJH honors the past and contributes to a better future by sharing the power of imagination and ideas, culture and community, leadership and service, in ways that turn inspiration into action. For more information, including opening hours and pricing, visit NMAJH.org or call 215.923.3811.