TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

April 16, 2012

Middle school students learn about Colonial times


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Special to the Times-Tribune

From March 28-30, University of the Cumberlands welcomed more than 1,000 middle school students from surrounding counties to the campus to take part in a Sons of the American Revolution event. 

This was a collaborative effort between SAR, the university, the McConnell Center of University of Louisville, and KET.

“This program has exceeded every goal we initially placed on it,” said Director of SAR Colleen Wilson.  “Over a thousand students have been actively engaged the last few days and they have been wonderful. They have been exposed to our nation’s history and have had a glimpse into the future with the possibilities of college.”

The program was put into effect so that Eastern Kentucky students could have the opportunity to learn about the American Revolution and Colonial times. It was set up as an evaluative program that tested students before and after to see what information they had been able to obtain.  Fifth to eighth grade students from Whitley, Laurel, Harlan, Knox, and Clay Counties participated in the event.

Each day a group of students from various schools would come to take part in the seven session program. While on campus students had an opportunity to see what college life was like as they were mixed amongst Cumberlands students.

“The underlying benefit of holding this event at UC is we are exposing students to higher education,” said Colleen.  “Cumberlands has been a key element in the success of this program.”

Each session was designed to provide a different aspect of what life used to be like during colonial times so students were taught how to fold a flag in Patriot Park, how to use a Quill pen in the Hutton School of Business (HSB), the United States mission also in HSB, Washington’s Crossing by putting a puzzle together in the Grace Crum Rollins Fine Arts Center, what it was like to carry a back pack in the past, and they got to see an informational video called A Day in the Life in Gatliff Chapel.  The seventh session was lunch.

In preparation for the event 15 teachers in the participating schools travelled to Louisville, Kentucky for three days for content enrichment.  This was made possible through the Steel Reese Foundation who provided grant money for the program for the next three years.

Dr. Alice Brown, President of the Appalachian College Association (ACA), had the task of finding a place to host the event.  When considering the different options that would be convenient and beneficial to students, the university came to mind since it was in the area and the students would be most likely from schools in Southeastern Kentucky.

“One thing that we got out of this is that the fifth and eighth graders have been so impressed with being on a college campus,” stated Dr. Brown.  “One of the students was talking to his friends about the college students walking around without a teacher. It was a great experience for students to experience and see what it is like to be on a college campus.” 

SAR is a historical, educational, and patriotic non-profit United States Corporation that seeks to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, an appreciation for true patriotism, a respect for our national symbols, and the value of American citizenship.  SAR does this by perpetuating the stories of patriotism, courage, sacrifice, tragedy, and triumph of the men who achieved the independence of the American people in the belief that these stories are universal ones of man’s eternal struggle against tyranny.  They inspire and strengthen each succeeding generation as it too is called upon to defend our freedoms on the battlefield and in public institutions.