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Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot - Schools

‘The Real Story Of Thanksgiving’ Discussed

Just prior to Thanksgiving, fifth-grade students at James H. Vernon School explored the historical accuracy of the first Thanksgiving through a program offered by Cablevision Power to Learn, The Heart of America Foundation and HISTORY. Participating in the event were Congressman Steve Israel and HISTORY Chief Historian Dr. Libby O’Connell.

Following welcoming remarks from Principal Nancy Gaiman and Cablevision host Shawna Ryan, Israel spoke to the students about the holiday of Thanksgiving.  Heart of American Foundation representative Daniel Horgan discussed the book 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neil Grace, copies of which were donated to the school.  Students then participated in a Q&A with HISTORY Chief Historian O’Connell regarding the film The Real Story of Thanksgiving that

they had viewed in preparation for this event.


“I’m honored to participate in this engaging program that traces the history of Thanksgiving from its origins in the American colonies to present day,” said Israel. “Providing a forum in which students can discuss the meaning of

Thanksgiving gives them a clearer and more thorough understanding of one of the oldest and most popular American holidays.”


“We provide a deeper appreciation of the holiday while making the history lively and compelling,” said HISTORY Chief Historian O’Connell.


Cablevision Vice President of Public Affairs Jennifer Ostrager noted, “Power to Learn is excited to bring this opportunity surrounding the first Thanksgiving to students to enhance their learning of historical events.”


Power to Learn, Cablevision’s education initiative, is dedicated to integrating technology into education.  Cablevision provides video, high-speed Internet and digital voice-over-cable services to schools for educational use. These services are available free of charge to K-12 schools across the company’s service area. More information is available at