Farmingville third grade teachers to receive Keeler award

Farmingville Elementary School third grade teachers Christine Parsons, Emily Casolo and Beth Zawatski will be honored with the Anna Keeler Teaching Award at the Keeler Tavern’s Fall Party Sept. 29. The three teachers worked with the history center to develop a new program called Early Settlement that uses the museum as a classroom extension.

The third grade team at Farmingville Elementary School (FES) will be honored with the Anna Keeler Award for Excellence in History and Civics Education at the Fall Party at Keeler Tavern on Saturday, Sept. 29. Established in 2015, the award recognizes teachers whose passion and dedication motivate students to understand how the past shapes the present and informs the future. The three teachers being honored are Christine Parsons, Emily Casolo and Beth Zawatski.

The FES third grade team partnered with the museum’s education staff to develop a new full-day program called Early Settlement. Utilizing the museums’ extensive resources and collection, the program teaches about Ridgefield’s early days, including the use of maps and 18th-Century ledgers to understand basic principles of geography and economics, respectively, by engaging students in interdisciplinary learning.

“We’re proud and honored to be this year’s recipients of the Anna Keeler Award,” said Emily Casolo on behalf of her colleagues. “We’ve never had a museum ask what they could do for us … They were positive risk takers, like us, focused on what was best for our students. We are so appreciative of their willingness to dive into something totally unfamiliar … It all came together to create this inspiring experience for our curious learners.”

“The positive response from the Keeler Tavern education team and the depth of their knowledge and resources allowed our Farmingville grade three teacher team to open a whole new and authentic avenue of learning for our students,” Principal Susan Gately said. 

According to Melissa Houston, Keeler Tavern’s director of education, the Early Settlement program was a success because of the active participation of the teachers.

“The teachers were willing to try new ideas and to fully engage in hands-on learning. We truly appreciate how they welcomed us into their curriculum.”

Tickets to the party are $145 per person; educators pay $125 per person. Multiple sponsorship opportunities are available. Tickets, sponsorships and VIP parking passes may be purchased online at keelertavernmuseum.org, or by calling 203-438-5485.

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