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A step back in time to school days of 1850s

History Center program puts focus on 19th century education

POSTED: August 11, 2011 12:30 a.m.

Most kids don't look forward to summer break ending and the return to school. So perhaps a little historical perspective can ease the transition.

Northeast Georgia History Center in Gainesville plans to give families an inside look at the contrast between modern day schools and those of the 1850s with Family Day on Sunday.

The theme for this month's Family Day is Good Old-Fashioned School Days, fitting for this time of year, according to education and volunteer coordinator Julie Carson.

"It's a really unique opportunity to see what it would have been like to go to school in the 1850s. You'll get to truly experience school as it was then," Carson said.

Visitors will get to take part in traditional education that was typical of schools in North Georgia from the time period. Activities will include lesson in penmanship and math.

Carson talked about the value of traditional penmanship, an art slowly being lost to modern technology, she said.

"Education was very stringent back then. Schools really focused on the "three R's," reading, writing and arithmetic. Such a difference compared to all the technology that goes into education now," Carson said.

"This will really give people a chance to appreciate modern education and particularly classrooms," she said. "Kids didn't have the air-conditioned classrooms like they do now."

Carson said that because of the heat, classroom instruction will only last about 15 minutes, with three sessions planned to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate. Each class can accommodate about 12 people.

In addition, participants will learn about traditional writing methods and how to make their own ink.

There will also be activities including tin punch demonstrations and lunch pail-making.

"I hope a lot of people will come. They'll have a good time, and walk away with a better understanding of 1850s education," Carson said.

Family Day will take place at the Northeast Georgia History Center from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. The History Center is located at 322 Academy St. in Gainesville. The program is free.

For more information on Family Day and other programs offered at the History center, visit www.negahc.org, or call 770-297-5900.

 



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