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Battle of Rhode Island Association Awarded $150,000 Grant from RI Commerce

PRESS RELEASE RI Commerce recently announced their grant recipients of federal funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). BoRIA is pleased to announce that it was awarded $150,000 to support a state-wide, multimedia, “digital map” learning experience on highlighting Rhode Island’s significant role in the American Revolution. BoRIA will be working closely with North Kingstown-based technology company, Fresh, LLC, to create a “FreshMaps” educational experience for everyone. Last year, FreshMaps worked with BoRIA’s web partner at Smith’s Castle in North Kingstown to develop an educational trivia map on their historic property. Click here to visit Smith’s Castle FreshMaps site. BoRIA is excited to first bring this same innovative technology to Aquidneck Island to highlight different locations and experiences of the Battle of Rhode Island, which took place on August 29th, 1778. This project also expands our reach to bring awareness to other historic society partners around the state, enabling the stories of many Revolutionary Rhode Islanders. BoRIA Director Joe Studlick remarked “Documenting and sharing RI’s Revolutionary War history is our primary objective and this new smart-phone enabled learning will appeal to kids, especially middle school and high school aged students.” FreshMaps develops experiences using a GPS-driven mobile app to direct the participant to various locations on a map, and prompts photos and videos to teach a lesson, then provides puzzles, trivia questions and other fun challenges, allowing points to be earned, making learning fun and engaging for all ages. Events will be planned monthly, as each FreshMap experience is launched, with Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown happening first over the summer, then others planned for the fall and winter, including East Greenwich, Kingston, Providence, Warwick, and Coventry. Michelle Girasole, founder of Fresh LLC, who championed our cause and helped us get the grant, stated, “It is an honor to be working with the BoRIA on this exciting project. Many people around the state know of events like the burning of the Gaspee, but when American Revolution history is taught, the main focus is about events that happened out of state – Boston, Philadelphia, and the South. So much happened right here in Rhode Island and we are excited to use this technology to make these stories come alive. Participants will be standing in the place where a skirmish happened, or where a General lived, and learning about why that matters. It is important to us to mix traditional stories of the military action from well-known historical figures like Major General Nathanael Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette, with lesser known stories of courage and contributions from women and people of color. We will be working closely with historical consultants throughout the state to accurately document and tell these stories.”

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FreshMaps Founder Featured on Bruce Newbury Talk of the Town Show

FreshMaps founder, Michelle Girasole, joined the Talk of the Town Show with Bruce Newbury for his New Chamber Member Spotlight segment this week. She chatted with Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce New Member Associate, Lori Burke, about FreshMaps and our new technology experience that provides digital learning experiences for students, families, and tourists. Learn more about FreshMaps and hear the full interview here. Michelle’s interview begins at 16:07.

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Exploring Maps in Port- Mykonos, Greece

When you create digital learning maps for a living, it stands to reason that exploration of any new-to-you location comes naturally. On a recent trip to Mykonos, Greece, FreshMaps founder, Michelle Girasole, had a chance to put her love of adventure into action. Although no digital learning maps of Mykonos exist (yet?), Michelle and her husband, Rich, used the maps that were available to them to explore Mykonos and discover a small part of what the city had to offer in beautiful scenery, local charm, and delicious food. Imagine the fun and learning that could be had if digital learning maps existed in all of the areas you visited. While FreshMaps is starting in Rhode Island, we believe the possibilities are limitless!

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FreshMaps to Produce "History Hunt Week" to Celebrate North Kingstown's 350th Anniversary

In honor of North Kingstown’s 350th anniversary in 2024, FreshMaps is excited to produce “History Hunt Week”, a fun learning event for the whole family.

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5 Types of Scavenger Hunts

Here’s a list of 5 types of scavenger hunts that might be in your town: These are just a few examples, and scavenger hunts can be customized in countless ways to suit different interests, ages, and settings.