NORWAY — No matter where you’re from, it’s important to know where you came from. Some local students had the chance to learn about their hometown, and share that knowledge with a community that cares about where they grew up.
Norway Elementary students played a little role–reversal today. Instead of being students, they were teachers. Impersonating historic figures from the area, the students told the history of the people who built the community from the ground up. The idea came from a member of the Jake Menghini Museum’s auxiliary group. Right away, the teachers loved it.
“I thought this would be a great thing, because the kids could learn more about where they live and the people behind the town that they live in,” said 4th Grade Teacher Mary Beth Paul.
The learning experience is a nice change of pace from simply opening a history book. The students seemed eager to share their findings, excited that they could learn in a unique way.
“They love it; they would ask me to work on their project every day,” said Paul. “I think this a real experience: they are putting more effort into it. They care more about it. And they want to represent these characters well.”
“The teachers are excited. They’re so excited. The kids are excited. What they’ve been saying is so on point and on target. They did their work, they did their work,” said Jake Menghini Museum Director Cris Hamlin. “They’re going to remember this forever. And they can someday tell their children and grandchildren what they did.”
The event so far has received nothing but positive feedback. The presentations were so successful, the schools and the museum have agreed to make them a recurring event.
“Our dream is to continue on so that the children keep their interest in the Jake Menghini Museum,” said Hamlin. “People care. They want to have the history of Norway shared.”
When Jake Menghini was young, he collected his first artifact. Over 100 years later, the students of Norway Elementary are working their hardest to carry on Jake’s legacy, keeping the history or Norway alive.
“You get goosebumps,” said Hamlin. “This is so exciting to have the kids so excited, and to have them talking about the people that they’ve researched and how much they’ve enjoyed it. It’s been remarkable.”