Union Free School District
- Hastings-on-Hudson U.F.S.D.
Hillside Elementary Students Learn About Hastings Goods and Services
Students at Hillside Elementary School are learning a bit more about their surroundings this month.
In Hillside Elementary’s second grade, students are learning about the goods and services provided in Hastings-on-Hudson. After picking a building in Hastings, students learned what was provided there and where it fits into the community.
“They are learning how geography, economics, history, and community all have a relationship,” said second grade teacher Dianna Clarke.
Not only did they find out what is happening in the buildings on their streets, they also learned what they may have looked like 100 years before. With a helpful presentation from the President of the Hastings Historical Society Natalie Barry, students dug into the foundations of Hastings and how goods and services have changed in the village over time.
“For many of them, they didn’t know the history of Hastings,” Clarke said. “A lot of them were floored and they’re interested in history now and want to learn more.”
After learning a bit of local history, students were asked to create models of the buildings they had chosen. With familiar Hastings buildings now in miniature form, the students presented their report on the local place and what goods and services they give to their own community.
“They were really excited and proud to share something that they made and use their creativity to make a display of their building in town,” said Clarke. “They had the kindest compliments at the end of each presentation on the details that students put into the projects and making these connections to the presentations.”
While Clarke was surprised by some of the students' creativity, some of them shared the secret to their architecture.
“They were really honest and gave their parents credit where they helped out,” she said.
Many of the models will be familiar to the students such as small scale versions of Clockwork Records and the Hastings Fire House. However, some of the students are using the assignment to get the lay of the land.
“There are many new students to Hillside and because of the pandemic they haven’t been able to explore as much,” said Clarke. “So, for some of the new students, it’s been a learning experience for them.”
Clarke said that their next lesson will center on what the Hastings waterfront has to offer for the community. Now a relatively empty area, Clarke said that the students learned from Barry that it wasn’t always that way.
“Down by the waterfront they had a lot of factories a long time ago,” she said. “So, we talked about what’s down there now and why that has changed and how consumers change over time.”
Asking the students to brainstorm on what should go there next, Clarke said she expects some amazing ideas for the future of the waterfront area.
“We’re going to have some conversations about what the town of Hastings needs the most and what are the benefits and the cons,” she said. “Things that don’t just benefit one person but the community.”
For now, Clarke is happy the students are learning more about their surroundings and remembering some of the great spots in Hastings. After showcasing the many goods and services in the village, Clarke said an additional benefit of the assignment is that the students might become supporters of local businesses themselves.
“Even though they’re around these places a lot this was nice and they’ll be able to go to these places soon,” she said. “It will help spur the economy in Hastings!”