Poland third-graders go on historic tour

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Jim Bartos, of the Poland Historical Society, lead a group of McKinley Elementary Students on a tour of the historical high points of Poland May 20.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Poland McKinley third grade students stood outside of the Village Pantry May 20, listening to a member of the Poland Historical Society dressed as Mary McKinley discuss the history of the building.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Poland Historical Society Member Jenny Meloy spoke with a group of third graders from Poland McKinley Elementary School May 20, giving the students a tour of the historic areas of Poland.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.A number of historical buildings along South Main Street in Poland were pointed out to McKinley Elementary School third graders May 20 by members of the Poland Historical Society during a tour of the town.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.A member of the Poland Historical Society dressed as Mary McKinley, stood outside of the Village Pantry, and gave facts about the buildings history to Poland third graders May 20.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Third grade students from McKinley Elementary School asked questions to Poland Historical Society members during tours of Poland's historical areas May 20.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Poland McKinley Elementary School third-graders took an historic look at their town May 20.

For the fifth year members of the Poland Historical Society volunteered to give students a tour of historic buildings along South Main Street.

“A big part of the curriculum in third grade is learning about the community,” said third-grade teacher Tracy Kaschak.

She came up with the idea to team up with the historical society five years ago as an addition to the curriculum, adding a personal element to their learning.

“I am very, very pleased with the way the program has grown,” Kaschak said. “It’s a great way for the students to learn interactively.”

Members of the PHS walked 125 third-graders, split into four groups, through the historic areas of Poland.

PHS member Larry Smith said that the groups tour a number of important areas in Poland, including the Village Pantry and the cite of the former home of president William McKinley.

Members had photo books that they used to illustrate buildings that no longer stand, and shared historic details with the students.

“We feel that everyone, especially young people, should have a good understanding of their history,” Smith said.

For the first time this year, members of the Poland Historical Society also dressed up for students.

Outside of the Poland Village Pantry, a volunteer dressed as Mary McKinley talked about the history of the building. She gave facts about Mary’s life in that very building, and what the town was like during those years.

“We are so grateful for the extra work the volunteers have added to the walk this year,” Kaschak said.

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