JACKSON TWP. Third graders from Green Local Schools have been visiting the one room schoolhouse in Jackson Township throughout the month of May. Green’s one room school, the Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse, was destroyed in an arson fire last summer and the Jackson Township Historical Society has offered the Jackson Center School as a place to hold classes for the third graders.
Starting May 2, Green Local Schools have had 12 third grade classes spend a day at the Jackson Center School. Tammy De Dominicis brought her third-grade class to Jackson Center School on May 15.
"We’ve been using the Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse every year for a program where each third-grade class spends one day at the school to learn the way students learned in 1885," De Dominicis said. "It complies with the social studies and history standards. We spend the day with a schoolmarm and helpers teaching the class like it was done in 1885. The kids study a book about Green’s heritage and we study the era leading up to the class. When they enter through the door of the one room school, they spend the day just as third graders would in 1885."
Students spend time reflecting on the comparisons to learning then and now after returning to their own classroom. De Dominicis said the students love the experience.
The lessons taught for the day come from the "McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader Revised Edition." The students worked in groups, played games of the period such as marbles and pickup sticks, practiced writing with a quill pen and ink bottles and wrote on slate boards. Students also read a story on beavers and building beaver huts.
Mary Kocsis, a retired teacher from Green Local Schools, was the schoolmarm for the day and her helpers were Ted Dudra, Jan St. John and Richard Garman.
"Everything we are doing today is how it was done in 1885," Kocsis said. "We worked on reading and writing, strategy games, math and oral reading. Students also did a tongue twister to practice elocution of words and learned Roman numerals," she said.
Valerie Wolford, communications manager from the City of Green, and Sarah Haring, from the planning department, said they appreciate the Jackson Township Historical Society and the Green Historical Society working together so that Green Local students could visit the Jackson Center School.
"The Jackson Historical Society has been gracious and very welcoming in having the students at the school, they even let us put out information about the Green Historical Society," Haring said.
Haring said that a committee has been put together in Green to make recommendations about rebuilding the Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse. She said the committee has recommended rebuilding the one room schoolhouse to the mayor and to the city council.
"Along with the committee’s recommendation to rebuild, they are recommending to expand the schoolhouse to accommodate being used for more than the 17 days that it was used in the past. The committee would like to see it rebuilt with improved lighting inside and outside, better seating and better acoustics," Haring said.
She also said she was interested in how the Jackson Center School is designed and used and may take some suggestions back to the committee and others.