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Students welcomed at River Lea

by Olivia
Fri, May 6th 2011 04:05 pm
Students from Kaegebein Elementary School recently took a field trip to River Lea to learn about local history. Pictured at far left, docent Maggie Gushue shows the students a leather razor strop used mainly for polishing the blade of a man's shaving straight razor, but also, Gushue said, for corporal punishment of children. (photo by Larry Austin)
Students from Kaegebein Elementary School recently took a field trip to River Lea to learn about local history. Pictured at far left, docent Maggie Gushue shows the students a leather razor strop used mainly for polishing the blade of a man's shaving straight razor, but also, Gushue said, for corporal punishment of children. (photo by Larry Austin)
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For the last 15 years, fourth-graders at Island schools have made field trips to historic River Lea to learn about daily life in the 19th century. The tours are provided by the Grand Island Historical Society, headquartered at River Lea.

"It's a very huge effort for the Historical Society," said the society's Mary Cooke of the program. "If you've ever gone or get a chance to go this year you'll find the place is staffed with all sorts of volunteers who put this on every year. Our fourth-graders, every one of them, goes through this."

"And they love it," Grand Island School Board President Richard Little said, of the fourth-graders. "The job that's done by the volunteers is amazing." Little said at Monday's Board of Education meeting that his three children have taken the tour "and they've all loved every one of the trips."

"It's quite an undertaking. I've had the privilege of running the bus part of it for about the last probably 13 or 14 years," Cooke said. "It is a huge endeavor, but it's very rewarding."

One highlight of the tour is "The Laundry Skit," which tells students about the arduous task of washing clothes.

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