Clear Stream Students Create a Patch of History

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As part of their history lesson, fourth-graders at Clear Stream Avenue Elementary School participated in a Freedom Quilts workshop with the help of Jennifer Henriquez, outreach manager at the Long Island Children’s Museum, on Jan. 18. Ms. Henriquez spoke about freedom quilts, which were used during the Underground Railroad to help enslaved Africans escape to freedom. Students learned more about the difficult lives of the enslaved Africans and the different quilt patterns which represented specific directions to help them reach freedom.

After learning about the secret system, each student created their own quilt patterns with the help of Ms. Henriquez. Using a template of the North Star and Flying Geese, two quilt patterns from that time in history, students selected their favorite fabrics and glued pieces onto their template. At the end of the activity, Ms. Henriquez provided each student with a free pass to the Long Island Children’s Museum.
 
Each fourth-grade class continued their lesson back in the classroom by watching a video on Scholastic BookFlix about the Underground Railroad.
 
“There is a misconception that enslaved Africans were uneducated, but in fact they were very intelligent to come up with these Freedom Quilts that could give them directions on how to escape to freedom,” said Principal John Singleton. “I’m very proud that our students are still learning about slavery and their quest to freedom.”