Teachers and Students Share Stories About the Presidential Site

Teachers and Students Share Stories About the Presidential Site

by Alexis Price

November 19, 2018

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.

Patrick Roe

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 The children love to pour over the historical documents and relive history at this special place.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!

Students raising hands at a Presidential Site tour, in the office of Benjamin Harrison.

Maggie S. FPA 2017

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.

Photograph of a group of students in a classroom. The image is overlaid with a quote from Maggie S., of the class of 2017, which reads, "Future presidents of america stands firm as a sanctuary for young and able aptitude. Because what is often forgotten is that one day those brilliant minds will be the ones running our country - making important decisions - and future presidents of america prepares them to do just that. Hash tag giving a future. bit dot l.y. forward slash giving a future.

Mary Robison

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!

Photograph of staff member Roger Hardig helping young students at the benjamin harrison site. The table is cluttered with loose papers and some students are writing.

Rachel M. FPA 2018

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.

Photo of the future presidents of america classroom clapping after listening to a speaker in the classroom.

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 blog@bhpsite.org. Back to Top

Subscribe to eNews
Monday - Thursday 10am, 12pm, 2pm
Friday - Saturday hourly 10am-2pm; Sunday 12pm-2pm


The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will be closed from December 31, 2023-January 22, 2024 for annual deep cleaning.


Thank You!

Thank you for being an important part of the Presidential Site and sharing a legacy in action!


Enter your email below to check your subscription