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EU to host ‘Out of the Box’ history project open house

02/17/2014

Over the last 18 months, six local historical societies worked in partnership with Erie Yesterday and Edinboro University’s School of Education and Department of History, Anthropology & World Languages to create traveling trunks, or museum kits, that take archival materials and artifacts outside of the museum and into the community.

The project officially launches Thursday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. at Edinboro University’s Frank G. Pogue Student Center during a three-hour local history open house for regional education professionals.

Organizations participating in the Out of the Box project include the Corry Area Historical Society, Elk Creek Township Historical Society, Erie Society for Genealogical Research, Fairview Area Historical Society, Harborcreek Historical Society and the Hornby School Museum. Each trunk created by these sites focuses on a specific topic in Erie County history and contains high-quality reproductions of historical artifacts, primary source documents or photographs intended to give students a personal experience with the past.

The trunks have suggested grade levels but may be used with any age group.

“This is a great way for students to learn historical thinking skills, practice asking questions about the past, study history from multiple perspectives, and share their knowledge through creative activities,” said Melinda Meyer, president of Erie Yesterday.

The Out of the Box open house also will feature a presentation by the Erie School District’s Nancy Sadaly, Assistant Superintendent for Academics, and John Galle-Boyko, Social Studies teacher, who were part of the lesson-writing team for the Medal of Honor: Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice resource kit. Stacey Turner, a sixth-grade English teacher at Fort LeBoeuf Middle School, will make a special presentation about the oral histories she has been collecting since 2010 from the founding women of the Italian American Women’s Association of Erie. Once complete, the project will include four 20- to 30-minute documentaries that focus on the experiences of Erie's Italian women and an accompanying three-week middle school language arts curriculum.

Erie Yesterday is a consortium of Erie County’s more than 20 museums and historical societies that works to promote, preserve and maintain Erie County’s heritage.

More information about the Out of the Box project is available from Meyer. Call her at (814) 403-1772 or send email to ErieYesterday@gmail.com or mmeyer196@hotmail.com.