Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 23, 2013

LaGrange County fourth-graders to get history lessons

Shipshewana Area and LaGrange County Historical societies will present local history workshops for fourth-graders.

The LaGrange County Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Shipshewana Area Historical Society. Shipshewana partnered with the LaGrange County Historical Society and is coordinating 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.

In an announcement made Monday by Shipshewana Area Historical Society president Roberta Markley and public relations officer Sharon Bowen, the programming will begin this spring within the Lakeland School Corp. at Lima-Brighton, Parkside and Wolcott Mills Schools.

In the fall, the educational workshops will be extended to the Prairie Heights and Westview elementary schools. Discussions and development are also under way to offer workshops at local Amish schools.

The purpose of the programming is to help local youth better connect with the historical roots of their community — from its original settlement by large numbers of American Indians through the transition to permanent settlement by white settlers coming from established communities in Michigan and in the east.         

The programming 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 involved in presenting 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 without cost to them, parents or the schools.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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