The Museum Association of New York recognizes the Warwick Historical Society's efforts to education, preserve and celebrate
The Museum Association of New York recognizes the Warwick Historical Society's efforts to education, preserve and celebrate


Photo by Chris Olert James Yap, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services at the Warwick Valley School District, visited the Warwick Historical Society's Education Team to congratulate them at their meeting this week. Standing from left to right are: James Yap, Mary Ann Knight, Rita Laskin, John Johansen, Kathleen Garritano, Richard Leo and Lisa-Ann Weisbrod, executive director of the Historical Society. Seated from left to right are: Sharon Halper, Lyn Willemse, Bonnie Kunert and Ivy Jordan-Tulin. Team members not present for the photo include Dr. Richard Hull, Robyn Eaton, Kathy Weslowski, Mark Kurtz and Joan Kissinger.

WARWICK — The Warwick Historical Society has received the prestigious Award of Merit in the Engaging Community category from the Museum Association of New York (MANY).
Education. Preservation. Celebration. These ideas have long been the watchwords of the Warwick Historical Society. During the society’s 110-year history, continuous efforts were made to engage the community in the town’s stories through traditional events like fortnightly club meetings, delivery of scholarly papers, scholarship essay contests for students and commemorative lawn parties.
However, something was missing, as the society saw its relevance decline, its membership age and its numbers dwindle.
Connecting with younger Warwickians In 2010, when the society acquired its 12th property, the former library building, which became its headquarters, the Education Committee began to move the organization into the 21st century in vibrant new ways.
The committee’s teaching team, comprised of 13 volunteer teachers, has connected with children and young families, to place the future of Warwick’s history in the hands of the next generation.
They’ve searched through the society’s storage barns and historic homes and archives and clothing collections for the artifacts that tell the community’s stories.
Traveling TrunksUsing this rich collection of primary sources, along with their experience as instructional designers and skilled teachers, they have developed a catalog of lessons and programs that reach local learners from Kindergarteners to adults.
The foundation of their historic education program is Traveling Trunks, a series of hands-on lessons taught in Kindergarten through Grade 4 at all of the town’s elementary schools, reaching more than 1,500 students.
Each lesson's artifacts are packed in a rolling trunk, and the lesson is presented by one or two members of the teaching team.
Favorite topics include “School Days in Warwick 100 Years Ago” and “Winter Fun in Warwick.”
Ivy Tulin began the Travelling Trunks program about 10 years ago to support her granddaughter who was in first grade. After a year of visiting the classroom with a rolling suitcase willed with artifacts, she realized that these artifacts could enhance the social studies curriculum for all first graders. The teachers and the schools were excited about the opportunity and she began recruiting volunteers.
Mobile MuseumsAt the middle school and high school level, the programs are wide-ranging. Favorite formats include Mobile Museums with lesson plans provided to teachers in their classrooms and Document Detective lessons that use local photographs to teach primary source analysis.
When popular community exhibits like Women’s Suffrage in New York State or The Great War Centennial are displayed at the society’s headquarters the teacher team develops and delivers a field trip lesson for students to attend.
In 2018 the Education Committee updated and increased their school age programs. All programs meet the New York State Social Studies Curriculum Guidelines.
EssentialsThe Historical Society’s Education Committee is a charter member of the Warwick Valley School District’s Community Partnership and is a grantee of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.
Members are often called on to present workshops at teacher conference events and develop learning games and projects for summer camps and other community events.
Education Team Chair Mary Ann Knight and team member and Village Historian Ivy Tulin will travel to the MANY Conference in Cooperstown this Spring to accept the award.
For more information on the Warwick Historical Society, call 845-986-3236.