Why do the education offices seem so empty this week? Because everyone is on the road! The fall is usually a busy time for education program, but November seems to be especially crowded with outreach programs. Just in the month of November, we have 18 outreach programs scheduled, serving over 700 students in 13 different towns across Connecticut.
Although requiring extra time on the part of the educator, (I just spent an afternoon packing up one suitcase for a particularly material-intensive program this Thursday), outreach programs can be an opportunity for fun and a break from routine – both for educators and for the students. They’re a great way for schools trying to cut down on bus costs to bring history into the classroom. Many of programs incorporate reproduction or historical artifacts, allowing children the opportunity for hands-on learning right at their desks. Reproduction costumes, objects, documents – if it can fit in a suitcase, we bring it.
As an educator, I love how outreach programs take you to different parts of the state, seeing towns and areas you might not have purposefully visited before. It also helps me understand the perspective and backgrounds of the students a little more. For example, when I was driving to a rural school to teach the “Colonial Kids” program, I had to remind myself that these students might have previous knowledge with shearing wool from sheep and other “colonial chores”. And sure enough, during the program, when we were talking about how long ago the colonial period was, one student informed me that her house was, in fact, three hundred years old.
Outreach programs aren’t without their complications for an educator (I don’t want to think about what would happen to me if I didn’t have my GPS), but they really a great way for educators to reach schools all over the state and engage students with a love of history. To learn more about the programs CHS can bring to your school, visit our Classroom Outreach page.