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Today we were witness to true community collaboration!

Thanks to the Project-Based Learning (PBL) program, spearheaded by Ken Wojehowski, students from RP Connor and Suffern Middle School participated in a courtroom re-enactment with the Village of Suffern Mayor Ed Markunas, Justice Ernest Buonocore, Village employees and volunteers from the community.

PBL opportunities allow students to learn curriculum in new and innovative ways. For this project, the students in David Grammerstorf’s 4th-grade class at RP Connor learned about American history through the reenactment of the Boston Massacre Trials. Students were tasked with recreating the trials of defendants charged with murder in 1770. Throughout this month-long project, students learned history, civics, and the law, as well as collaboration, presentation, and critical thinking skills.

Today, with the help of some very talented Suffern Middle School students, the fourth-graders led trials to determine once and for all who was guilty or innocent during that time in history. Dressed in period clothing, Justice Ernest Buonocore presided and heard testimony from witnesses and the jury consisting of village employees and other community members decided the outcome.

It was a pleasure working with the Village of Suffern and we look forward to more collaborative events in the future. We would also like to thank Suffern resident Paul Graham, who volunteered his time and talent to construct the courthouse on the Village stage. He built the judge and jury boxes and the new steps on the sides of the stage, all for this event.

Here are a few photos of this creative and unforgettable learning experience.

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