The East Berlin Historical Preservation Society offers an educational hands-on program geared toward third and fourth grade students, for a fee, using three of our period buildings. We focus on life in the East Berlin area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Our entire program is staffed with volunteers and all fees are used to ensure education of future groups.
A textile program in Red Men's Hall explains how raw products such as wool and flax are turned into cloth. The students are shown how sheep were raised for their wool, how to card the wool, spin it into yarn, dye it, and weave it into cloth on a loom. All students take turns performing these steps to experience how in depth creating textiles was for our ancestors.
In our log house,students experience family life in an authentic two room dwelling with no electric, and no running water. Hands-on activities include making beaten biscuits, baking them on an open hearth, churning butter, and making a garni herb bag used for soups and stews. Students are taught how all hands helped with "chores" needed for the family's survival. Students will see a bed that uses ropes to hold the ticking "mattress" this is stuffed with straw or corn husks.
In our one room schoolhouse, students are shown a typical school day with one teacher instructing eight grades. They sit in original desks, cipher on slates, read from McGuffey's Reader, write with a quill pen and ink, and seal with wax. Also shown are toys and games played at recess. There is no electric or water and is heated with a potbelly wood stove. A stool in the corner with a dunce hat on it is for students that caused problems in school.
The education committee always needs volunteers to help with these programs. The duties are interesting and rewarding. We need volunteers to guide each group to the buildings and no costume is needed. In addition, docents/historical interpreters and helpers are needed to pass papers, assist with learning stations, and costumes are provided. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please call our office at 717-259-0822, for an appointment or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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