The Historical Society has a tradition of encouraging student involvement with local history. In 2007 we established the Betty Hahle Excellence in History Award for sudents at Riverton Public School.
A 2011 web post describes the motivation behind the award and profiles the esteemed former Town Historian for whom it is named.
The Betty B. Hahle Excellence in History Award is given to an eighth grade student each year at Riverton Public School. Betty Hahle’s many decades of historic research and writing as Town Historian and her interest in cultivating the interest of young people in the study of history inspired the award.
Former HSR President Priscilla Taylor described the first presentation in the September 2007 Gaslight News:
At Riverton School’s 8th grade graduation ceremony in June, I was very pleased to announce the inaugural winner of the Historical Society of Riverton’s BETTY B. HAHLE EXCELLENCE IN HISTORY AWARD. Named for our esteemed historian, this annual award of a $100 savings bond is given to the 8th grader who best completes an oral history project of a Riverton resident. Riverton School social studies teacher and HSR Board member, John McCormick, created the 8th grade history project to capture, via audio and video recordings, the stories of notable Rivertonians. Miss Jennifer Pacek, now a 9th grader at Palmyra High School, won the 2007 award for her videotaped interview with 100-year-old Mae Goodwin, who is believed to be the oldest living graduate of Riverton School.
The November 2007 Gaslight News highlighted some of what Jen learned from Mae Goodwin:
Mae told of kids taking rides on fire trucks in celebration of the end of World War II, she did not particularly like school, and she recalled that in school, bad students were whipped with a strap. Even decades ago, children like young Mae went sledding at Double Bunkers at the Riverton Country Club.
Other Riverton School recipients of the award include: 2008 Hannah Hoag, 2009 Emily Curci, 2010 Chelsea Montieth, 2011 Hannah Creighton, 2012 Andrea Kinzler, 2013 Holly Bednarek, 2014 Taylor Blinebury, 2015 Grace Hochenberger, 2016 Fisher Hudak and Maura Scott, 2017 Joseph Fort, 2018 Catherine Azelby, 2019 Jack Kinzler
Our hope is to establish cash awards to encourage students to author local history articles using primary source material. The primary goal of the Historic House Party is to raise the funds needed to underwrite that endeavor.
Event tickets are on sale for $50 at Riverton Library and the Guitar Guild of Palmyra. The Guild has a credit card reader.
If you can’t go, but wish to support the Society’s goal to better connect with families and young people, just click on the PayPal button at left and follow the prompts. Or send your check, payable to The Historical Society of Riverton to:
Historical Society of Riverton
PO Box 112
Riverton, NJ 08077