Saving the Past, Shaping the Future in 2023

How students learn first-hand about important parts of local history

Nearly 500 fourth-grade students from several area schools learned first-hand this fall what it’s like to engage in Delaware history. The students rotated among several stations arranged by state partners, exploring the different types of brick-laying at the New Castle Court House Museum, learning from state preservation experts when and how to dig for archaeological evidence, creating their own piece of a drawn quilt while learning about folk art and even participating in a fun trading game and more.

“They are there to learn about preservation and why preservation is important in a hands-on way,” said Juliette Wurm, New Castle Court House Museum site supervisor. “They’re with us for a short time, but we hope to make a big impact.

The program, “Saving the Past, Shaping the Future,” is run by First State National Historical Park and included events on the New Castle Green behind the New Castle Court House Museum. Program partners included the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), HCA’s State Historic Preservation Office, Alapocas State Park, Auburn Valley State Park, the Delaware Cultural Resource Unit, the Delaware Historical Society, DelOne Federal Credit Union, First State Heritage Park, the Kalmar Nyckel and the New Castle Historical Society.

The students get to spend about 20 minutes at each station, for about half of the school day in total. At the end of the program, students are sworn in as Junior Rangers and also earn a one-year admission pass to all national parks. The program is held twice a year, in the spring and fall.

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