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Historical societies to present local history workshops


Thanks to a grant award from the LaGrange County Community Foundation (LCCF) to the Shipshewana Area Historical Society, that organization has partnered with the LaGrange County Historical Society to coordinate workshops to help teach local history to community fourth grade students. The award will be used primarily in the development and distribution of training materials used in the all-volunteer programming.

Shipshewana Area Historical Society President Roberta Markley and Public Relations Officer Sharon Bowen recently announced that the workshops will begin this spring within the Lakeland School Corporation at Lima-Brighton, Parkside and Wolcott Mills elementary schools. In the fall, the educational workshops will be extended to the Prairie Heights and Westview elementary schools. Discussions and development are also underway to offer workshops at local Amish schools.

The purpose of the workshops is to help local youngsters better connect with the historical roots of their community – from its original settlement by large numbers of Native Americans through the transition to permanent settlement by white settlers coming from established communities in Michigan and in the east.   

The workshops at the three school systems will be supported primarily by a computer-based slide show and a booklet. Brian and Carolyn McCoy from the LaGrange County Historical Society spearheaded development of the PowerPoint slides and will be actively involved in presenting the workshops. Steve Frisk, Sharon Bowen and Brenda Lazzaro Yoder compiled the informative activity-based booklet and will also serve as workshop presenters. All educational materials will be provided to students free of charge.

Advancing local knowledge of arts and culture through education is an important component of the LCCF mission. The LCCF Board of Directors sees the funding opportunity to support this educational effort by local historical societies as an exciting step forward in strengthening that mission and the community.