Thursday, June 2, 2011

Adventures with fourth-graders

One of the miracles of spring is that late every May, somehow, a hundred and some Chariton Community School fourth-graders divided into seven groups visit with near military precision nine narrated stations on the Lucas County Historical Society museum campus in roughly two hours before consuming sack lunches on the grounds, reboarding their school buses, then driving away. This year's event was Friday, May 20, and everyone involved had a good time.

Each station was staffed by society officers, board members and volunteers --- Puckerbrush School, the Stephens House (upstairs and down), Otterbein Church, log cabin, Swanson Gallery, Crist Gallery, Mine Gallery, Lewis Gallery and Perkins Gallery. Teachers and volunteer parents coordinate student movement from place to place and the time-master rings the church bell roughly every 20 minutes to indicate it's time to begin a new session.

Students spent the most time, about 20 minutes, at the school since part of the point is to give them some basis for understanding how education used to work. Visits to the other stations are briefer.

The students are bright, well-behaved and ask thoughtful questions. But the miracle of this year's visit was the fact that rain was predicted but didn't appear. The kids finished their tour, had plenty of time for lunch on the (dry) grass and rode away. Then, but only then, did the skies open and the downpours begin. Only one backpack and one jacket were left behind.

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