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Students bring historic village to classroom

March 27, 2014
The Town Crier

The Western Reserve Village at the Canfield Fairgrounds is a popular stop for families during the Canfield Fair. It is composed of structures from around the county that were moved from their original sites to the fairgrounds to preserve the early history and way of life from Mahoning County's early years.

''Last summer, I mentioned to our WRV board of directors that I would love to have a video of the village to give to fourth grade teachers who teach Ohio history,'' said WRV trustee Carri Bookwalter. ''Many times teachers want to bring their students to the village, but cannot for varied reasons.''

Board director, Chris Burkey, agreed with Bookwalter and through his involvement, was able to get the ball rolling on such a project. Burkey's wife Ericka is a guidance counselor at South Range High School. When he mentioned the idea to her, she passed it on to English teacher Lisa Toy, who serves as a Canfield Fair Board member.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
South Range senior Shawn Rast shows his rambunctious side as he attempts to dip senior Brianna Prislipsky's hair into an ink well. It was a common prank for students in the 1800s and will be part of an educational video Prislipsky is working on that will bring the history of the village into the classroom.

Bookwalter said Toy and Burkey took the idea to South Range seniors, who are required to do a senior project in the community. South Range senior Brianna Prislipsky was recommended for the project and she gladly accepted. She engaged the help of fellow senior Shawn Rast and work began.

''I have most of the writing done,'' said Prislipsky. ''I am ready to begin the video part of the project.''

According to Prislipsky, the video will feature the history of each building in the village. She also discovered interesting details of life in the 1800s.

''I discovered the librarian in the small one-room library would know the people of the area and what their habits were,'' Prislipsky said. ''She would contact a resident when she knew they were coming into town to shop.''

Prislipsky said the librarian actually got the books back and saved the resident another trip into town.

Other interesting discoveries involved the Knaufville School house, a preserved early Mahoning County school building. The structure contains original furniture, including the large pot-belly stove that provided heat and the wooden and iron desks that had a hole in the right corner to hold an ink bottle.

''Every student had to write using a quail feather that was rounded to a point and dipped into the bottle of ink,'' Bookwalter said. ''Some of the boys were mischievous when sitting behind a girl with long hair. They would dip the tip of her locks into the ink as a joke.''

She said sometimes they would be caught and the teacher would slap their hand and them make them sit in front of the class wearing a dunce cap.

All the stories and facts will be preserved on the video by Prislipsky and Rast. Bookwalter said the project gives Prislipsky her required project, but also helps bring the historic village into the classroom of area schools.



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