Carnegie library director finds spending day with 57 sixth-graders a surprising treat
When Diane Klinefelter, the Espy Post curator at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall told me that she and Scott Donnelly, a social-studies teacher at Carnegie Elementary School, had arranged a Civil War field trip, I thought, “Great!”
When she told me it would last four hours, I thought it sounded like the field trip from hell.
I could not have been more wrong.
Fifty-seven sixth-graders and their teachers showed up at 10 a.m. When they left at 2 p.m., we were sorry to see them go. Diane; JoLynne Dougherty, the library's children's program coordinator; Ken Steinmetz, a member of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves; and I stood on the front steps of the library, snapping photos, waving goodbye and promising to build on our new relationship.
May 1 was the library and music hall's 113th anniversary. I can't think of a better, more mission- advancing way or nicer people with whom to spend this birthday.
Diane had designed a great experience. We started with a plenary session in the music hall to talk about Andrew Carnegie; the library and music hall's history; and how lucky the kids were that Carnegie has such beautiful historic library, performance venue and rare Civil War room. The students were inquisitive, engaged and prepared. When I pointed out the seat plaques with names of Carnegie residents, one boy asked if anyone had named a seat for Andrew Carnegie. What a great idea!
Diane introduced herself as the curator and asked what that meant. Another boy answered, “A person who knows the most about something.” Not far off the mark — Diane will add that to her resume.
We split the students into three groups. Each group visited the Espy Post with Diane; explored the life of a Civil War soldier with Lt. Steinmetz, who was in uniform and brought his 1861 Springfield rifle and re-enactor's gear; and designed corps badges and played some Civil War games with JoLynne.
After two rotations, the students had lunch in the studio. They completed their third; then we all gathered in the music hall for recaps and final questions.
The students did their school, their families and themselves proud.
Maggie Forbes is the executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chartiers Valley students hope for a ‘Beauty’ of a high school musical
- Feedback sought for Chartiers Valley school project
- Organizer hopes to widen South Fayette’s Circle of Friends
- Lauded doctor has ties to Carnegie area
- iPads will help South Fayette students learn at school, home
- Bids coming in for Bridgeville sewer projects
- Longtime Carnegie volunteers help make fish fry a success
- Around Town: Bridgeville golf course rolling out changes
- Carnegie elementary students gear up for STEEL campaign