As fourth-graders at A.W. Becker explore Colonial Era New York, a special guest visitor introduced students to the Dutch fur trade and settlement of the state. Jeff Bennett visited Mrs. Agostinoni, Mrs. Baumgras, and Ms. Conway’s classrooms to share his program, called, “Cookies, Crullers & Kills: The Dutch Culture in Colonial New York.”
Maps, paintings and artifacts made the Dutch colonial period come alive for the students and brought greater understanding of the significance of Dutch settlement of this area. Bennett showcased the variety of influences the Dutch have had on our culture, from the 1600s to today including food, customs and vocabulary. Students then explored how Dutch culture was emphasized in the communities that eventually became New York, Albany and Schenectady. Bennett also brought in materials to illustrate how the Dutch lived as they settled this area in the 17th century.
Bennett has nearly 20 years of experience providing in-classroom social studies programs that address New York State learning standards. The A. W. Becker PTA funded this presentation as well as another program from Mr. Bennett on the Underground Railroad to be presented in April.