Esperanza Academy Students Showcase their History Equipped with the Right Resources

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In the next couple of months, Esperanza will be working hard to to improve the lives of children in Hunting Park by proving that an Esperanza education is like no other in North Philadelphia. We are dedicated to empowering Hispanic communities through education, and one way we hope to do this is by completing our educational pipeline to provide a seamless learning experience from Kindergarten to College. We already have Esperanza Academy Charter High School and Middle School as well as Esperanza College, but we know that primary grades are the most critical learning years in any child’s life. Show your support to make #EsperanzaElementary a reality for children in Hunting Park. Share your stories about why an #EsperanzaEducation can make all the difference!

On June 3, 2015, Esperanza Academy Charter High School students showcased their personal histories in the My Home, My History exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Using primary documents from the National Archives and Records Administration, census records and personal interviews, the exhibit explored 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 was 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 7% 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. Opportunities to showcase students’ journey are what make an #EsperanzaEducation special.