According to craftinlearning.com, Salem County is located in the southwestern part of New Jersey and has a rich history that dates back to the colonial era. The county was originally part of Burlington County before it was established as Salem County in 1767. In 1681, the Dutch West India Company had granted land to William Penn, who then sold it to the Quakers from West Jersey. This area became known as “the Jersey Settlement” and eventually formed Salem County. During the Revolutionary War, Salem County provided assistance to General Washington and his troops by supplying them with food, horses, and other supplies. After the war, Salem County continued to prosper and develop into an agricultural center for grain production. In addition, glassmaking became a major industry in Salem with several glassworks operating throughout the county. In 1884, a fire destroyed many of the buildings in downtown Salem including several churches and homes. The fire led to a rebuilding effort that included new brick-and-mortar buildings that still stand today in downtown Salem such as the courthouse and post office buildings. Throughout its history, Salem County has been home to many different ethnic groups including Dutch settlers, English Quakers, African Americans freed after slavery ended in New Jersey (1804), Irish immigrants who came during the Great Famine (1845-1852), German immigrants who arrived after World War I (1914-1918), Italian immigrants who arrived during World War II (1939-1945), Polish refugees from World War II (1939-1945), Puerto Ricans who came after Operation Bootstrap (1945-1965) and more recently Mexican immigrants who have come for agricultural work opportunities since 2000. Today, Salem County is known for its historic sites such as Fort Mott State Park which was used during both world wars; Finn’s Point National Cemetery which is home to Civil War veterans; Olde Towne Village which is an open air museum featuring historic buildings from colonial times; Parvin State Park which offers camping facilities; Hancock House which was built by John Hancock in 1734; Red Bank Battlefield Park which includes trails along with Revolutionary War monuments; Cowtown Rodeo which hosts rodeos on weekends during summer months; Parvin State Park which offers fishing and swimming activities; Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery which produces wines made from locally grown grapes; Alloway Creek Wildlife Management Area where visitors can observe wildlife such as deer and migratory birds; Fort Mott State Park which has a fishing pier and picnic area; and many more. Salem County is home to three public school districts, the Salem City School District, the Penns Grove-Carneys Point Regional School District, and the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District. Each district offers a comprehensive education to students in grades K-12 and is governed by elected school boards that are responsible for setting educational policies. The Salem City School District serves students from pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade and is comprised of three elementary schools (PreK-5), one middle school (6-8), and one high school (9-12). The district also offers several specialty programs such as a Gifted & Talented program, an English as a Second Language program, and a Special Education program. In addition to academic programs, the district offers extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, and afterschool activities. The Penns Grove-Carneys Point Regional School District serves students from pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade and is comprised of four elementary schools (PreK-5), one middle school (6-8), one high school (9-12) and an alternative learning center. The curriculum includes programs in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, visual arts/music/drama/theater/dance/media arts/physical education/health & wellness as well as special education services. Extracurricular activities include athletics such as soccer, basketball and baseball; clubs such as drama club; student council; National Honor Society; choir; band; Future Business Leaders of America; Spanish Club; Robotics Club; Math Team and more. The Woodstown–Pilesgrove Regional School District serves students from pre–Kindergarten through 12th grade with four elementary schools (PreK–5), one middle school (6–8) and one high school (9–12). The curriculum includes courses in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, visual arts/music/drama/theater/dance/media arts/physical education/health & wellness as well as special education services. The district also offers extracurricular activities such as sports teams, clubs and afterschool activities. Overall, Salem County offers a wide range of educational opportunities for students of all ages. Each district is committed to providing a quality education that prepares students for success in college and the workplace. With its commitment to excellence and dedicated staff members, the districts strive to provide an environment that encourages learning and growth for all students. Check thembaprograms.com to learn more about New Jersey geography.