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Giving kids a place in history

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

When Park City schools opened their doors on Wednesday, the Park City Museum unveiled its new education area.

Education Curator Johanna Fassbender explained the museum wanted to create a space for children where they can color, play games and learn about Park City.

"School started again this week and we thought this might be a good idea," she said. "We would like them to hang out and play," she said.

After a couple of weeks spent on planning and a day to set up, the education area was ready to go.

The children can pick from a variety of activities including coloring and playing a Park City- themed memory game. Crossword puzzles are an option too.

They can also sit down to play Stage Stop, a game developed by Parkite Sydney Reed, who is also Park City Museum board member. Players make their way from Missouri to California and encounter trials along the way.

If a game is not what the children are after they can watch the Silver and Snow DVD playing on a nearby television screen which shows the history of Park City.

Hanging on the walls in the children’s area are several historic pictures, many of them from Marsac School in the 1950’s. One shows boys and girls lined up with trays on the day the school cafeteria opened.

Others depict children at a dance lesson and participating in a puppet show.

In addition to day-to-day use he area will also be used to host special activities. For example, on Sept. 16, Celebrate Your Museum Day, Fassbender is thinking of holding a book binding class or a similar project students can participate in to help celebrate.

"In the beginning kids had to bind their own books," she said.

Other activities are currently in the works for the new education area.

Fassbender said she was thinking about organizing a block of time once a week for regular activities such as arts and crafts. She added the schedule will be coordinated with the Park City library so the two do not overlap, and mentioned it might also be possible to collaborate with them for some children’s projects.

Come spring the museum will close its doors to begin a remodeling project but Fassbender said she would like to stay on children’s radar during that time.

"My idea is that we keep participating in special events," she said, giving the Fourth of July parade as an example.

As the Curator of Education Fassbender said it is important to help children establish a relationship with their museum so they use it in the future.

"I think that’s really important so you can have them visit later as adults," she said.


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