NBFA Delivers Top Performances at Connecticut History Day Contest

New Beginnings Family Academy Students Excel in Connecticut History Day Regional Competition and Advance to State Finals

BRIDGEPORT, CT (April 18, 2018) - In a first for a Bridgeport public charter school, four middle school students from New Beginnings Family Academy (NBFA) delivered top performances at the Fairfield County Regional Contest for the 2018 Connecticut History Day competition and will advance to the state finals on April 28th. NBFA employs a progressive education model and is the state's only progressive public charter school with emotionally responsive practice. In all, twelve NBFA seventh and eighth graders faced peers from schools across Fairfield County in the Regional Contest, held at Sacred Heart University on March 17th, and presented research projects on the National History Day program theme, “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

Over 1500 students competed at the six Regional Contests this year, and those who placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd are eligible to move on to the State Contest. Fairfield County’s regionals are among the most competitive in the state, featuring some of Connecticut’s most economically-advantaged schools.  By contrast, approximately 97% of NBFA’s families are of low-to-moderate income.

Besides the stiff competition, each participant in the Connecticut History Day Contest faced a daunting workload. “I am truly impressed by the ways in which the students have applied their creativity, commitment, and collaborative skills to these amazing projects,” said Ronelle Swagerty, Head of School for NBFA. “They have spent months conducting research, refining topics, preparing annotated bibliographies, and writing process analysis papers. Ultimately, they must exhibit their work and defend it before judges.”

The NBFA students have been revising their projects and feel ready join other Fairfield County finalists at the 2018 Connecticut History Day Contest on April 28th.  At the regionals, NBFA eighth graders Nyanna Richards, Joshua Fordham, and Brianna Lopez earned First Place for their Junior Group Exhibit, The Connecticut Witch Trials. Seventh grader Jada Taylor won Third Place for her Junior Individual Exhibit, Constance Baker Motley: Refusing to Compromise on Human Rights.

The students are all looking forward to the State Contest because they want to explore what other contestants have been working on, and they feel ready to present their ideas to the judges. Jada says that the experience has been valuable, “I’ve learned so much more about human rights issues since beginning my research.”  In fact, she considers herself victorious already. “It feels really good to be recognized for all of my hard work.”

The finals, held at Central Connecticut State College on April 28th, feature presentations and interviews, and the public is invited to observe the events. Connecticut students who place first or second in the State finals are invited to the National History Day Contest in June at the University of Maryland.

About Connecticut History Day: Connecticut History Day is an affiliate program of National History Day (NHD)®.  It is led by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN) with support from the Connecticut State Department of Education, Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, the Connecticut League of History Organizations, Connecticut Explored Magazine, and ConnecticutHistory.org.