GALLIA COUNTY — The Gallia LEADS AfterSchool programs have sponsored three of their four social studies family nights at three local elementary schools.
The three that have been presented so far were at Addaville Elementary on November 8 with 188 students and adults present. The second one was at Vinton Elementary on November 13 with 171 students and adults present. The third event was at Southwestern Elementary on November 15 with 105 students and adults present.
Family nights at the Gallia County AfterSchool programs focus on an academic or cultural experience. In the past, the programs have focused on science, reading, math and bringing together generations of families. These social studies family nights are the first attempt at presenting history to the students and families in the Gallia LEADS programming. The time period presented was 1777 during the Revolutionary War.
The social studies objectives were to teach children the meaning of the American Flag and how to present and show respect for the flag. This was done at Addaville by Veterans Wayne Thomas, John Hood and Bill Spaun from the Drew Webster Post #39 American Legion, Pomeroy, Ohio and at Vinton and Southwestern by Veterans Larry Marr, Pete Spencer and John Watson from Post 709 Gallia County Vietnam Veterans of America, Gallipolis, Ohio.
The second objective was to bring historical moments to life through presenting famous men, women and events through first person dialogue. Two historical scenarios that brought history to life were a “A Chat with Benjamin Franklin” and “The Old Barricks: Recruitment and Induction of Local Farmers into General George Washington’s Continental Army.” Benjamin Franklin was played by Roger Jerome, a professional actor well known in Gallia County having worked with many students in the county schools. John Sharp, a Meigs County Middle School history teacher, played the “Old Sargent” who trained the troops. Tom Metcalf, a local historian, played the recruiter, and several social studies teachers in the schools played nurses — Erinn Matthews, Becky Woodyard and Marlene Wood.
The final objective was to show that children during the American colonial period had toys and enjoyed playing as children do today and to present the two political views leading up to the war of independence — do the colonial citizens remain loyal to the King of England or do they join the fight for independence? Elizabeth Matthews, Lynn Arnott and Woodyard allowed the student to play with toys known to have existed during the colonial period. Jodi Coleman, Debra Walker and Beth Ruff had their students present “Loyalist vs. Patriots” scenes from “The American Revolution: A Play” by Brian Beckenstein.
The final program will be presented at Hannan Trace Elementary on December 18, and students and their families associated with the school are encouraged to attend.
These events were planned and organized by Woodyard and Fannie Metcalf, Gallia-Vinton ESC consultants.