Students Will Research and Draft Network to Freedom Program Applications Highlighting Region’s Underground Railroad History
CINCINNATI, OH – The National Underground Railroad Freedom will help sponsor eight students from Arlington, Nebraska to write applications for the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Program from Wednesday, March 1, through Sunday, March 5, 2017.
Arlington High School has previously written 24 successful applications for the Network to Freedom Program – more than any other high school in the country. The participating students from Arlington, Nebraska have applied and been accepted to a special course titled Forever Free. The course was designed to study the Underground Railroad and work with the National Park Service to identify and preserve sites and stories associated with the Underground Railroad. The course instructor, Barry Jurgensen, started the program seven years ago. Within that time, Jurgensen’s classes have successfully nominated sites in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Ohio.
In 2012, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center worked with Arlington High School to write three successful applications for Hamilton County: Salmon P. Chase Law Office, Spring Grove Cemetery, and Zion Baptist Church. This week, Jurgensen and his students are partnering with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the town of Ripley, Ohio, to nominate four historic homes in Ripley to the Network to Freedom Program for their association with the Underground Railroad. While in Ohio, the students will visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and research the archives and collections, analyzing the history of slavery past and present. When the students return to Nebraska, they will use their experience to create awareness and educate others on the issue of modern day slavery. Students have the semester to complete their nominations.
“We are honored to partner with Barry and the Arlington High School students participating in Forever Free,” says Richard Cooper, Director of Museum Experiences at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Recognizing and nominating historic sites across the nation for the Network to Freedom Program adds to the legacy of this monumental historical movement and provides the public with new information and resources provided by the research of these passionate students.”
The students from Arlington High School will be visiting Ohio and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Wednesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 5, 2017. For more information, visit freedomcenter.org