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Allentown School District program takes learning experience beyond classroom

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: May 19 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 05:38:40 PM CDT

A museum in Allentown is helping local schools fill an education gap.. without breaking their bank.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

A museum in Allentown is helping local schools fill an education gap.. without breaking their bank.

Every field trip in the Allentown School District must be educational.

The Conestoga Wagon Liberty Bell program not only shows third grade students the place where the Liberty Bell was hidden during the Revolutionary War, it takes learning beyond the classroom.

The lesson is the culmination of two weeks in the classroom learning about history and the Liberty Bell.

Third grade students from Muhlenberg Elementary School in Allentown are participating in a pilot program.

"It came to our attention that children walking by this building never really understood what was behind the doors," said Jane marks, co-educational consultant for the program.

The Conestoga Wagon Liberty Bell program partners the Allentown School District and the Liberty Bell Museum in Allentown.

The museum was designated as an educational improvement organization.

"Area businesses are able to sponsor us in a way that they send money to us to help bring these students in," added Sara Jane Brace, Liberty Bell Museum manager.

The program fills the state educational standards of several subjects

"Science, social studies, language arts, reading and writing," added Marks.

"I was down here for one of the programs when they rang the bell," said Brace. "It was amazing to see the kids faces light up when they heard how loud the bell was."

The trip was not only a learning experience for the children. Beth Hertz's great, great, great, great, great-grandfather is Fredrick Leaser, one of the two men who carried the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown. She said the program is a great thing for students to learn about American history.

"They ask me, 'Do you remember him? Did you know him,'" said Hertz. "Then we have to do the math and figure out I'm old but not quite Frederick Leaser old. It's always fun."

The district and museum hope to open the program to middle school and high school students, however, funding continues to be an issue. The hope is to get more money from the state and community.