Constitution Sailors Teach Naval History to Middle School Students

Story Number: NNS110927-08Release Date: 9/27/2011 5:39:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shannon Heavin, USS Constitution Public Affairs

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution Sailors taught more than 150 students naval history at Agawam Junior High School in Springfield, Mass. Sept. 26.

Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW) Anthony Costa, Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jered Sasen, Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class (SW) John Campbell, Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Michael Fleck, Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Bryan Pickett, Operations Specialist Seaman Ashley West, Fireman Jessica Rodriguez and Seaman Jared Kercell gave their presentation as part of New England Navy Week, Sept. 24-Oct. 2.

"The students first came in the classroom wide-eyed, excited and unaware of the Navy," said Costa. "After the presentation they gained new insight to the Navy's mission in a fun, interactive lecture."

The history lesson included facts about Constitution's construction, her famous battle with HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812 and the ship in modern times. They finally answered questions from students about the Navy.

"The exposure of local history to our students is important and they were interested," said Karen Shugrue, the school's librarian and media director. "The presentation was contagious, as the kids are now looking forward to visiting USS Constitution."

Constitution Sailors undergo 20 weeks of naval history training, along with additional weekly training. They are also scheduled to give history presentations at Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, Mass. Sept. 27 and Converse Middle School, Sept. 29-30.

"It's important for our message to come across to people of all ages," said Kercell. "I always enjoy talking with students, and today I am thrilled I got to help students learn a new subject."

The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. New England Navy Week will showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard of Boston Harbor and is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat. The ship defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. Constitution's mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship's history, as she welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year.

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Sailors teach naval history to students at Agawam Junior High School during New England Navy Week.
110926-N-AU127-045 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Sept. 26, 2011) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution teach naval history to students at Agawam Junior High School during New England Navy Week, one of 21 Navy weeks planned across America for 2011. Navy weeks are intended to show the investment Americans have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shannon Heavin/Released)
September 27, 2011
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