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Oxford-on-Rideau students step back in time to learn in 1875 school house

Submitted by the UCDSB

Some young learners from North Grenville had the opportunity to travel nearly 150 years back in time earlier this month, and learn what school was like in 1876.

A media release from the Upper Canada District School Board tells of the experience had by Grade 3/4 students’ from Oxford-on-Rideau Public School on Friday, June 7. The opportunity was made possible by a partnership with both the Municipality of North Grenville and the North Grenville Historical Society.

Oxford Mills’ old one-room schoolhouse was built in 1875 to provide an experiential space for children. Currently the building, now known as Maplewood Hall, is used as a meeting space for the municipality.

“Students had lots of questions and wonderings about the past and have been looking forward to this day,” said Oxford-on-Rideau Grade 3/4 teacher Steve Paterson. “This experience enables them to experience some history of the community where they live.”

Members from the historical society, along with community volunteers, helped bring history alive by showing off antique items and playing turn of the century games, all while discussing history and a day in the life of those who lived at that time.

“Students have been actively uncovering the social studies curriculum by researching various aspects of life during this time and were excited to ‘live their learning’,” said Principal Brad O’Neil. “This experience allows students to appreciate the past as a way of better understanding the present and the future, while making new connections with their rural community.”

Some students even dressed in age-appropriate attire for they day, including suspenders and wool hats on the boys and floor-length dresses and bonnets for the girls.

“The butter churn was my favourite item they showed,” said Grade 3 student Nathan VanGilts.

“I think this is pretty cool,” added Grade 3 student Adley Wilson. “We learned how to write cursive with a feather pen!”

This is the second time the school has partnered with the municipality for this project.

“We believe it’s important for kids to have hands-on activities when it comes to history,” said North Grenville Historical Society Kid’s Club Coordinator Kerrie Kossatz. “The kids really enjoy it; we hope it continues for future years because we feel it’s important to bring the kids back to their roots.”

Taken from a media release issued by the UCDSB


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