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February 23, 2010

New CW Electronic Field Trip teaches students through special effects and contemporary music

Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip series examines how justice was administered to children in the 18th century, when laws made few exceptions for misconduct by minors, in the March 11 premiere of “The Rights of Youth.”

This new program features several stories taken from 18th-century records, including the story of 13-year-old Ann King who is punished for theft, forced to leave the only home she knows in England, and transported across the Atlantic to the American colonies to pay her debt to society as an indentured servant. Judges did not always set equal punishments, with factors such as age, race and social class influencing their decisions. “The Rights of Youth” presents children facing a variety of punishments such as imprisonment, whipping, forced transportation to the colonies and even death. The complicated subject is presented by means of a “graphic novel” with comic-book-style special effects and dramatic contemporary music.

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country. Targeted to grades 4–8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from the colonial period to the present day.

Each electronic field trip is supported with lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for their students. All materials have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet state standards for history, technology, art and literacy. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards related to the program’s subject.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, share a project via live video Web chats, e-mail or call in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and live interactive television broadcasts to bring American history to life for more than one million students and four million other viewers each year. For more information and pricing, or to subscribe to the electronic field trip series, visit, call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280