By JEN COWART Special to the Herald The Alumni Association at Cranston High School East is looking for additional members along with new financial and organizational support. Sitting inside the Alumni Room at the school, class of 1984 alum and Cranston
Special to the Herald
The Alumni Association at Cranston High School East is looking for additional members along with new financial and organizational support.
Sitting inside the Alumni Room at the school, class of 1984 alum and Cranston Public Schools educator Carmen Ruggieri showed off an extensive amount of original Cranston High School/Cranston East memorabilia. It was a true experience of stepping back in time, with green and white clothing and shoes, Thunderbolt yearbooks dating back to as early as 1914, photographs as old as 1899, and trophies filling the room.
The Cranston East building dates back to the time when Cranston had just one high school.
“We are looking to get information out to our alumni that we have this room,” Ruggieri said. “We are looking to strengthen our committee so that we can generate support for our finances, for scholarships, for our students, and for grant funding for our educators. To do that, we also need newer, younger alumni in order to keep this room and this committee going.”
The association seeks to help aid students with the rising cost of college tuition through scholarships. It also helps fund educator projects and purchase materials that are often paid for out of teachers’ pockets or simply unattainable.
Ruggieri said that on occasion a class hosting a reunion may reach out to her to see the room or offer help, and that there are sometimes visitors to the room during homecoming season. But in general, she said, there is a great need for help in categorizing and organizing the memorabilia and in helping to generate funds for scholarships and grants.
“We have photographs in every drawer here that need to be organized so that we know when they are from and maybe even who is in them,” she said.
According to Cranston East librarian Heidi Blais, much of the shelving and the cases in the room came from the former Borders Book Store in Garden City. The room itself has been featured in the movie “November Criminals,” where it was turned into the set of the principal’s office for filming.
Ruggieri said that the administration and staff at Cranston East are very supportive of the space, and noted that there are sometimes class projects completed utilizing the primary resources housed in the room as well.
“The students are always amazed when they look at the older yearbooks and pictures and they see the difference in how people dressed back then or the diversity that we have here now versus back then,” she said.
Those interested in lending their financial or organizational support to the Alumni Association can learn more by visiting chsealumni.weebly.com or contacting Ruggieri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This room is filled with history and has been a work in progress for many years,” Ruggieri said. “Hopefully now we can really do something with it.”