The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site offers a wide variety of education initiatives, from in-classroom visits to on-site tours to programs like Future Presidents of America. Read a few first-hand accounts from teachers and students.
4th Grade Teacher
West Lafayette Intermediate School
I first experienced the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site when I was student teaching. The fifth grade class I worked with took a field trip there, and I was thrilled to see how excited the students were leading up to the trip. The engagement at the Harrison [site] is second to none. The children love to pour over the historical documents and relive history at this special place. Children who think history is boring find a new perspective and appreciation upon witnessing the personal artifacts and charming lifestyle of the Harrison [site].
This first trip to the [Presidential Site] was firmly impressed on my mind as a young educator, and once I found a permanent teaching position, I was surprised that none of the teachers on my team had ever been there or heard about it before. I decided to make it a new tradition, and we take the entire grade level there every year. I highly recommend the Settler and Surveyors program. It is one of the students’ highlights from their entire school year! My sincere thanks to the wonderful team at the Harrison [site] that provides this special opportunity to us each year!
Looking back, it is almost inconceivable to think that my summer could have passed without being a part of FPA, because it has been, in all seriousness, life changing. Within my first hour of the class, I was enamored. Enamored by the passion for policy circulating the atmosphere. Enamored by the dedication the faculty of the Presidential Site had for preserving, protecting, and passing on history. Enamored by the surfeit of speakers expanding my understanding of my own community and country. But most impactfully, enamored by the other young and brilliant minds who, just like me, possessed a vigor for scholarship.
5th Grade Teacher
Westfield Intermediate School
I wish I could adequately explain how incredible the experience is each year with Roger Hardig, the [VP of Education] from the Benjamin Harrison [Presidential Site]. He comes in each spring for a little over an hour and masterfully engages our kids in a conversation spanning the 30 years from the French and Indian War (1753) through the Revolution (1783). He is funny, honest, passionate, and knowledgeable. Our students are always exhilarated! Their hands fly up?hands of high achieving students, hands of struggling students, hands of ALL students?and they answer his questions. They are giddy as they practice writing with real liquid ink and a feather quill, they cheer when they realize they get to take home a feather and its wooden block, and they are reverent as Roger calls them up by colony groups, lets them bend over a replica of the Declaration of Independence, dip their quills in the inkwell, and sign. We look forward to time with Roger every year!
FPA taught me so many things that I utilize every day. One of the most influential and educational parts was the speakers that came to talk to us. The speakers were so diverse in where they came from and where they are now; however, in the end I realized that their experiences stitched together to present a single narrative: the story of a young person fighting through failures and difficulties to emerge a successful ‘Phoenix’. The quilt of successful people’s stories presents a warmth I feel every day as I stride through the cold world of a teenager. As I freak out about PSAT scores or scholarships or my class rank, I feel the sturdy stitches of the quilt and remember just to breathe and try my best because in the end everything that should happen will.
This is the second installment in our National Education Month 2018 series. Read more about our education programming by visiting the education section on our website.
If you have questions about this post, or ideas for future posts, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to Candlelight Theatre we will be CLOSED for tours this Sunday, December 15, 2019. We will reopen the following day.
Thank you for being an important part of the Presidential Site and sharing a legacy in action!