IMG_9553Joseph Kyrillos meets famous New Jersey natives William “Count” Basie (Lydia Lu) and fellow public servant Grover Cleveland (Emma Wachtel), during the NJ State Senator’s recent visit to Rumson Country Day School.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

It was one of the most special days of the school year calendar at Rumson Country Day School — “IRP Day,” when fourth grade students of the Lower School at RCDS dressed in character as some of  New Jersey’s most famous natives — and presented a special program for parents, fellow students and honored guests that included NJ State Senator Joseph Kyrillos.

IRP stands for Independent Research Project — and for their project in honor of New Jersey’s 350th birthday, the fourth graders each selected a person who has been an important part of Garden State history.

The students prepared research papers on their chosen subjects, who ranged from U.S. Presidents to musicians and even popular children’s book author Judy Blume. They also decorated posters, and transformed into character for the video portion of the project, with each class creating a movie of students reciting their own original monologues.

Head of Lower School Jayne Carmody, who is also a member of the New Jersey Historical Commission, explains the significance of tying in New Jersey’s 350th birthday to the IRPs: “New Jersey is so important as part of our curriculum, and we wanted to make it more meaningful to the children. They learned how New Jersey has impacted the nation and the world.”

This first big research project is the students’ opportunity to tackle information seeking, developing ideas and problem solve. The fourth grade research project allows the students to exhibit skills they have learned in Lower School including: research, analysis, graphic design, video production, keyboarding, fine arts, visual arts and writing skills.