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Braintree High School Social Studies Department Partnership

The Braintree Historical Society was happy to have the opportunity to partner with Braintree High School in support of the 2018 History of Braintree course.  Students enrolled in this semester-long, research-based course researched and examined the history, geography, economy, government, and politics of the Town of Braintree, Massachusetts, from its founding in 1625 to the present day. Beginning with discussions in the 2017/2018 school year, Gorman Lee, Director of Social Studies for Braintree High School helped to set up this partnership with Braintree Historical Society as a part of the 2018/2019 class. 

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, students in the History of Braintree course, Mr. Lee and Bob Harris of the Society’s Board of Directors, met at the Civil War Monument on the Town Green.  After a brief discussion of the monument, Dr. Harris reviewed the Society’s three homes on Washington Street in a short walk to the Society’s Gilbert L. Barn Museum and Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center at 31 Tenney Road.

Students had an opportunity to tour the Society’s newly relocated historical library and genealogical resource center, to look at historical items on exhibit on the building’s ground level, including a Roman oil lamp, circa 70 – 100 AD (currently on loan to the Society), and to look at some of the items in storage in the building’s newly restored lower level climate-controlled collections storage area and lower level library.

Students have explored, investigated, and analyzed various primary source documents and artifacts that collectively tell the story of their hometown, including items in the Society’s collection. This research contributed in developing the primary text for this course and each student also completed a culminating final research project (or paper). 

The Braintree Historical Society is pleased to support Dr. Lee, his students and Braintree High School in this initiative and in collaborative efforts in future years.

Braintree Public Schools Programs

In collaboration with the Braintree Historical Society and the Braintree Public Schools 3rd and 5th grade students visited the General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace during May 2023 for their annual "Braintree, Our Town" field trip.           
Two other stops of this Tri-Visit Program included visits to the Braintree Fire Station for a tour and fire truck exploration and a visit to Braintree Town Hall, where they met the Mayor, viewed the original Indian Deed to the Town of Braintree, and toured the operations of their local town government first hand.   

At the General Sylvanus Thayer birthplace, children were greeted by a costumed volunteer and after a brief introduction about General Sylvanus Thayer and the 1720 home in which he was born, they began their educational tour stepping back to the period of 1785.

Through guided talks by volunteers and demonstrations of the crafts and chores necessary for everyday living, the students experienced what life was like for Sylvanus as a little boy growing up in Braintree at that time.


CATS Academy Partnership

The Braintree Historical Society is excited to partner with students from CATS Academy in their year-long initiative to support the Braintree Historical Society with community service. 

CATS Academy, an international boarding school with locations in Great Britain and Braintree, MA provides a college preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on academic rigor and English proficiency, drawing students from across the world.  (See July 2019 Lantern Online Then & Now article.)

 The Academy, located in the newly-renovated former Norfolk County Hospital for the Treatment of Tuberculosis, has reached out to the Braintree Historical Society with an offer to volunteer time and effort in all areas of the Society’s needs for volunteers.

Ms. Darcy Daniels, of the CATS Academy History Department, met initially with Society Board Members, Bob Harris and Aziz Karsan to explore the opportunity for CATS students to volunteer at least one afternoon a month over the course of the 2018/2019 school year.  Ms. Daniels offered to support a group of 10 to 12 students to assist the Society in tasks varying from electronically documenting collection items, to tech and social media support, to events preparation and to grounds maintenance – an offer that is welcomed with open arms!

Twelve students, Ms. Daniels, Mr. Karsan and Dr. Harris met for the first time on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 26, 2018, for the students to receive the Society’s recently-developed Volunteer Orientation presentation, to answer student questions and to tour the Society’s collection displays on the Barn’s ground level.  The students, from Asia, Mexico and South America, had many questions and ideas, including how to “hook us (BHS) up” with an Instagram account with which each of the students will share their 1000 followers (a potential total of 12,000 contacts for a BHS social media Instagram account).

The CATS students and Ms. Daniels will be volunteering once weekly to help prepare for the Society’s Grand Reopening of the Gilbert L Bean Barn and Mary Bean Cunningham Historical Resource Center.  The Society looks forward to energetic and enthusiastic contribution of these young volunteers.

Boy Scouts Programs

Girl Scouts Programs

Thayer Academy Program

The Braintree Historical Society has redesigned and reorganized its library and extensive resources. In the future the library will serve as the cornerstone for educating the public about the rich history of Braintree through lectures, special exhibits, and expanded school programs.

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