History America brings the Past to Life
This summer, students in the Year-Round Experiences History America program have traveled to historical sites on the east coast for an immersive learning experience.
Students who traveled to Gettysburg were treated to an in-depth lesson about the Civil War. There, they visited the home of the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg, Jennie Wade. They also took to the battlefield to learn about the personalities of the generals who fought there. Along with the lesson about history, the students learned about conflicts in their own lives and how they can resolve them.
In West Virginia, young history buffs visited Harpers Ferry and stopped at Jefferson Rock, a site where Thomas Jefferson actually stood to admire the view of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. At the John Brown Museum and Charles Town Courthouse, they learned about the plight of abolitionists John Brown who tried to incite a slave rebellion. They also discussed current events, such as the decision in South Carolina to remove the confederate flag from the Capitol.
During the third week of the program, students traveled to Auburn, Niagara and Lake Placid, NY. They continued their exploration of Civil War history by visiting the homes and graves of William Seward (Lincoln’s secretary of state who was instrumental in writing the Emancipation Proclamation) and Harriet Tubman, who helped people escape from slavery using the Underground Railroad. The discussions about these historical figures were tied to topics like grit and the Sacred Values. In NY, students also went to the Olympic Training Center, where they focused on excellence and perseverance.
Students in the program were required to keep notebooks of “daily reflections” which they shared during twice daily meetings.
The History America program brought the past to life for the students chosen for these adventures, and the experience is another example of the enhanced learning opportunities available through the YRE program at Milton Hershey School.