Poland “Time Tunnel” brings Dobbins Elementary third-graders through Poland’s history


Dobbins third-graders travel through Poland ...

By Bruce Walton

bwalton@vindy.com

POLAND

Dobbins Elementary third-graders traveled back in time through a time tunnel, courtesy of the Poland Historical Society, to view Poland history from the 18th to 21st centuries.

The organization prepared a presentation of the town’s history Monday for the six third-grade classes.

“We want to preserve the history of the Poland community, and the only way that you can do that is to educate children,” said Larry Baughman, historical society president. “To learn about the history and hopefully pass this on to future generations so that they can continue to have more pride in their community.”

The presentation covered the township’s long history from its founding to the present day. The township was founded in 1796 as the first chartered township in the Connecticut Western Reserve, and the society showed students the types of transportation and how they made iron tools. The society also showed props such as a dunce cap for misbehaving students and a pail used by the fire department in the late 1800s.

Students also were shown many locations they’d possibly be familiar with, such as the Baird Mitchell Stadium at the Poland Middle School. The stadium was dedicated in 1946 to Poland Seminary High School three-sport athlete and World War II pilot Anthony Baird Mitchel, who died taking supplies to troops.

Poland also was the boyhood home of the 25th president, William McKinley, whose family moved to Poland from Niles for the “excellent school system,” as Baughman told the class.

For the past four years, the society has taken the students on a tour of the township to show the historical sites in the spring, but this year added a presentation bringing the history to the students as well. This is the first year of the presentation that third-grade teacher Tracy Kaschak thought of and organized with the help of Principal Michael Daley and the historical society.

“This is something we added last year just so we could see if it gives a little bit more background information to the students before we head out in the community and go from place to place within the village,” Kaschak said.

After seeing the presentation firsthand, Kaschak said she enjoyed how the society was able keep students engaged and believes it’s a worthwhile project to continue. In May, the third-graders will see the historical society again to tour the township and hopefully gain more knowledge of the historical landmarks they come across.

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