History Hunters Youth Reporter Program


Pickeral: SOCIAL STUDIES
HAS BEEN KIND OF PUSHED FURTHER AND FURTHER
ONTO THE BACK BURNER. THERE ARE SO MANY CHALLENGES FACING OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT
WITH FUNDING ISSUES. WE REALLY ARE TRYING TO HELP SOME OF PHILADELPHIA’S
NEEDIEST STUDENTS. Tasman: I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY
OF COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA. AND IN 2002, WE DECIDED THAT WE’D LIKE TO HAVE
AN EDUCATIVE PROGRAM EMBRACING THE DIFFERENT HOUSES
IN GERMANTOWN. SO WE DEVELOPED A PROGRAM
CALLED THE HISTORY HUNTERS. Pickeral:
HISTORY HUNTERS IS A UNIQUE COLLABORATIVE
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM THAT INVOLVES
FIVE HISTORIC SITES IN THE GERMANTOWN SECTION
OF PHILADELPHIA. WITH HISTORY HUNTERS, THEY’RE GETTING A WHOLE
YEARLONG HISTORY LESSON. AND AND EACH SITE REALLY TEACS
A DIFFERENT ASPECT OF HISTORY. WE’RE STARTING
WITH THE COLONIAL PERIOD, AND THE STUDENTS ARE GETTING
A DRAMATIC SWEEP OF AMERICAN HISTORY ALL THE WAY
UP THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR. Tasman: IT’S A PROGRAM
THAT DEALS WITH FIFTH-GRADERS. AND CHILDREN COME
FROM DIFFERENT SCHOOLS, AND THEY BECOME REPORTERS. Pickeral: LITERACY IS A STRONG
EMPHASIS OF THE PROGRAM, AND THERE’S A 100-PAGE WORKBOOK
THAT ACCOMPANIES IT THAT HAS PRE- AND POST-VISIT IN-CLASS
READING AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS. THE PROGRAM REALLY STARTS
IN OCTOBER, WITH STENTON. IT IS THE CIRCA-1730 HOME OF WILLIAM PENN’S SECRETARY,
JAMES LOGAN. THEY MOVE ON FROM THERE
TO CLIVEDEN, WHICH IS
A REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITE. Poses: WE HAD ONE BATTLE
THAT WAS FOUGHT HERE — THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. AND THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GONNA
LEARN MORE ABOUT TODAY. THESE HOUSES IN GERMANTOWN
ARE ORIGINAL HOUSES SO THAT THE STUDENTS ARE NOT
SEEING A FABRICATION. THEY’RE SEEING HISTORY LIVE. [ FIFE MARCH PLAYS ] Pickeral:
AT CLIVEDEN, THERE ARE ALL SORTS
OF SENSORY EXPERIENCES WE TRY TO HAVE FOR THE KIDS. WE HAVE ACTUAL REPLICA UNIFORMS
OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIERS. Laurel-Drake:
I’M DRESSED UP AS A SOLDIER, AND IT FEELS GOOD BECAUSE
IN THE HISTORY HUNTERS BOOK, WE LEARNED ABOUT SOLDIERS
AND THE WAR. IT ACTUALLY FEELS LIKE
REAL LIFE. Poses:
SO, WE’RE GONNA TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS
THE SOLDIERS NEED. EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE A SPOON. THIS IS A FORK. WHAT DO YOU THINK
THIS IS USED FOR? -Boy: WRITING?
-Poses: WRITING. Mukadiyil: WHEN WE WERE STUDYING
IN THE TEXTBOOK, WE GOT TO SEE IT IN PICTURE,
NOT IN, LIKE, REAL PERSON. SO NOW, WHEN YOU COME HERE,
YOU GET TO FEEL IT AND SEE WHAT IT’S USED FOR AND WHAT STUFF
YOU PUT INSIDE OF IT. Asgari: IT’S HARD
FOR CHILDREN THAT ARE ATTACHED TO DEVICES 24/7 TO UNDERSTAND HOW TIMES
WERE VERY DIFFERENT THEN. AND AFTER THEY COME
ON THESE TRIPS, THEY’RE CURIOUS, THEY WANT TO DO MORE RESEARCH, THEY REFERENCE THINGS
THAT WE LEARNED. IT MAKES MY JOB EASIER
BECAUSE IT’S TRULY A MOTIVATION. Pickeral: THEY MOVE ON FROM
CLIVEDEN TO THE JOHNSON HOUSE, WHICH WAS
AN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD STATION. AT THE JOHNSON HOUSE, WE DEAL HEAD-ON
WITH THE ISSUE OF SLAVERY. Poses: THIS WAY, IT REPRESENTS
ALL THE STUDENTS OF THE CITY. EVERYBODY’S STORY GETS TOLD. Pickeral: IT IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST SORT OF DATES
AND FACTS AND FIGURES, THAT IT IS REALLY KIND OF
EVALUATING THE STORY OF AMERICA. THE STUDENTS ALSO VISIT WYCK
AS THEY MOVE INTO THE SPRING, WHICH WAS THE HOME
OF NINE GENERATIONS OF THE SAME QUAKER FAMILY. WE WERE ABLE TO BRING IN
A SCIENCE COMPONENT, AND WE’VE DONE THINGS LIKE TAKING ACTUAL THINGS
OUT OF THE GARDEN AND MAKING TEA AND JELLIES. THE NEWEST SITE MEMBER, WHICH IS THE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY
ART MUSEUM, OWNS BELFIELD, WHICH WAS THE HOME
OF ARGUABLY AMERICA’S GREATEST REVOLUTIONARY WAR PAINTER,
CHARLES WILSON PEALE. SO WE’RE ABLE TO GIVE
THE KIDS AT THIS SITE AN ART EDUCATION COMPONENT. THE PROGRAM IS ENTIRELY FREE. IT’S FULLY SUBSIDIZED, SO IT DOESN’T COST ANYTHING
FOR THESE TEACHERS. SUSTAINING A PROGRAM LIKE THIS IS HIS HUGELY EXPENSIVE
AND A REAL CHALLENGE. EACH YEAR,
WE HAVE A WAITING LIST. THIS YEAR,
WE HAD OVER 100 TEACHERS WHO APPLIED TO THE PROGRAM. WE COULD ONLY SUBSIDIZE
ABOUT 80 SLOTS. AND IF WE HAD MORE MONEY, WE COULD BRING IN MORE STUDENTS
AND MORE TEACHERS. THERE ARE SO FEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXTRACURRICULAR EXPERIENCES
LIKE THIS THAT REINFORCE
LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM. Tasman:
IT’S HISTORY COME ALIVE. Woman:
IT WAS KIND OF LIKE HONORING THE SACRIFICES
THAT PEOPLE MADE. Tasman: I WISH I WERE
A STUDENT OF HISTORY AT THIS TIME IN THIS PROGRAM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *