Inventing a Family Field Trip
by Trudy Thomas

(Plain Press, July 2005) On Saturday, June 4th, twenty-two school-age children who participate in the 21st Century Program, along with some of their family members, departed Merrick House in Tremont and headed to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron.  The 21st Century Community Learning Center is a needs-based reading and math after-school and summer program at Merrick House and the West Side Community House for students in grades one through five.

Thanks to an educational partnership grant from Dominion East Ohio, the parents of the students in the program had the opportunity to participate in a series of monthly workshops over the past year about the value of money.  The culmination of the project was for the parents and their children to plan a family field trip.  The families had to budget for admission, transportation, and lunch.  On that Saturday afternoon, all who attended were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame provided a hands-on learning experience like no other.  Many of the students worked diligently in the wood shop, sawing and hammering away with the help of their parents to make a unique creation.  Some spent time in the craft area, and used the available resources to decorate their woodwork.  Other families went on a scavenger hunt, searching for information about Ohio’s own inventors.  The opportunity to learn through exploration was fulfilling for both the adults and children, and they would like to sincerely thank Dominion East Ohio for making the experience possible.

Trudy Thomas is the 21st Century Program Coordinator


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