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The American Revolution comes to the Hilltown Charter School

  • Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School students Zoe Lemos, 9, left, Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, and Sebastian Abend, 10, act out a battle scene from the Revolutionary War with Nate Gundy, right, of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program..<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School students Zoe Lemos, 9, left, Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, and Sebastian Abend, 10, act out a battle scene from the Revolutionary War with Nate Gundy, right, of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program..

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hilltown students Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, center, Sebastian Abend, 10, right, and Raphael Gomez-Thomas, 10, back right, shout their agreement to dump tea into the harbor while Zoe Lemos, 9, at left, looks on. <br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Hilltown students Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, center, Sebastian Abend, 10, right, and Raphael Gomez-Thomas, 10, back right, shout their agreement to dump tea into the harbor while Zoe Lemos, 9, at left, looks on.
    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Margaret Ann Brady of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program reenacts major scenes from the Revolutionary War for Hilltown students. in the fourth and fifth grades.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Margaret Ann Brady of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program reenacts major scenes from the Revolutionary War for Hilltown students. in the fourth and fifth grades.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School student Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, acts out a scene from the Revolutionary War alongside Tim Hoover of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School student Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, acts out a scene from the Revolutionary War alongside Tim Hoover of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hilltown student Miriam Feinland, 10, takes an oath to continue learning about history following an interactive performance by members of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Hilltown student Miriam Feinland, 10, takes an oath to continue learning about history following an interactive performance by members of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School students Zoe Lemos, 9, left, Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, and Sebastian Abend, 10, act out a battle scene from the Revolutionary War with Nate Gundy, right, of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program..<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Hilltown students Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, center, Sebastian Abend, 10, right, and Raphael Gomez-Thomas, 10, back right, shout their agreement to dump tea into the harbor while Zoe Lemos, 9, at left, looks on. <br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Margaret Ann Brady of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program reenacts major scenes from the Revolutionary War for Hilltown students. in the fourth and fifth grades.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School student Isaac Porter Phillips, 9, acts out a scene from the Revolutionary War alongside Tim Hoover of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Hilltown student Miriam Feinland, 10, takes an oath to continue learning about history following an interactive performance by members of the Freedom Trail Foundation Scholars program.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

— History came alive at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School last week when fourth- and fifth-graders took part in reenactments of the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride.

Hilltown teachers Coco Moran and Kate Saccento arranged for a visit from the Freedom Trail Scholars program, an interactive history program that helps educate school children throughout Massachusetts.

“The group came to our school for free through the Massachusetts Teachers Association. They are trying to emphasize the state (education) standards through dramatic presentations,” Moran said. The Boston-based Freedom Trail Foundation has presented the program to over 15,000 school children across the state.

The program was interactive, using students as actors and encouraging audience participation during the three historical vignettes. As the performance continued, cries of “Here here!” and “Fie!” could be heard throughout the community room as the students warmed to their roles.

Six student volunteers met with the Freedom Trail group 15 minutes before the performance to don costumes provided by the program, learn about their roles and receive their lines. Some students played colonists while others played British soldiers.

Fifth-grader Sebastian Abend, 10, of Ashfield portrayed one of the redcoats.

“It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about Paul Revere and how he wasn’t the only one to go on that ride,” Sebastian said.

Many students said that they appreciated the contemporary humor mixed in to the historical presentation.

“It was really funny. They all stayed in character, but every now and then they would use modern phrases like “Hey dude!” fifth-grader Kai Winslow, 11, of Northampton, said.

Other students said they were impressed with the theatrical props, which included a fabric backdrop that was flipped over for every scene change.

“I played Edward, a colonist,” said Mimi Feinland, 10, of Florence, a fifth-grader. “I thought the backdrops really added a nice touch to the performance.”

Moran said she would like to see the group come back again and that she would highly recommend them to other schools.

“It was pretty lengthy, it lasted about an hour and a half,” Moran said. “But it moved along quickly, and had a lot of humor and audience participation.”

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