The Delaware County Historical Society was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Ohio Local History Alliance annual meeting on Oct. 8. The award recognized the Tote Bag program, which was developed by the Society’s Education Curriculum Support Committee in 2012.
The Tote Bags help teachers deliver local history content to third grade classes and have been used in Olentangy Schools, Delaware City Schools, St. Mary School and Buckeye Valley Schools.
After consulting with third-grade teachers in the county and observing a teacher in the classroom teaching local history, the committee selected materials for the totes. Each bag contains two DVDs, all of the Society’ brochures, a copy of Jeffrey Darbee’s Delaware and Delaware County, a folder on the history of the Nash House, a picture book entitled. “Who Came Down That Road” by George Ella Lyon, and a teacher resource folder with lesson ideas for using primary documents and reading lists.
The bulk of the bag consists of folders holding archival photos and documents about the development of Delaware County, plus current photographs so that students can see how the county has changed over time.
Based on teacher feedback, the committee has added to the content; for example, new folders on Native Americans and the Flood of 1913 were recently added. In addition, two unique bags have been created for Buckeye Valley East and Buckeye Valley West with content on the local history of their townships. One project influenced the mural now visible in downtown Ashley.
The committee members are society volunteers and recently retired educators with social studies backgrounds: Brent Carson, Ray Myers, Joe Dwenger, Bill Rietz, T.K. Cellar, Laurie Schaefer, Susie Hough, Diane Williams, DJ Sanfillipo, Nancy Fleming, Watson Walker, Karen Hildebrand, (Chair), and Susan Logan (Liaison/Education Chair).
In addition to administering the Tote Bag program, the committee conducts school tours of downtown Delaware, the Nash House Museum, and the Sulphur Spring on the OWU campus, and takes historical artifacts into the classroom where they lead discussions about the objects.
A new program “The Underground Railroad Experience” is in development. A video about these Curriculum Support Committee programs is online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0A175N08-U.
The Curriculum Support Committee has received grants from the William Street Church Foundation, which funded at least six tote bags, and from the Delaware County Foundation, which supported the purchase of a computer and software to create videos to be used in the schools.