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From Hammerin’ Hank to Unsinkable Molly, Students Bring History Alive

One by one, the legends came forward: Hank Aaron. Walt Disney. Susan B. Anthony. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Bessie Coleman. Wait. Who’s Bessie Coleman? She was the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license, in 1922. Students and parents at Kenowa Hills’ Central Elementary School found that out thanks to some enterprising fifth-graders, who recently staged a living wax museum to raise more than $1,000 for Kids’ Food Basket.This capsule commemorates the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the wreck of the Titanic

Lisa Monroe’s students reenacted those and other historical figures as part of a class project. After researching and writing about their characters, students made them come to life in an evening presentation.

The students made time capsules from shoeboxes to illustrate their characters. For instance, the student studying Alexander Graham Bell made his into a telephone. Parents, grandparents and others put their contributions in the boxes, which had on-off switches to activate the students’ characters.

This time capsule honors slugger Hank AaronThe Famous Americans Wax Museum continued the fifth-graders’ year-long support of Kids’ Food Basket, which provides sack suppers to nearly 6,000 Kent County students in need.

“The entire project lasts a couple months and incorporates research, report writing, poetry and speeches,” Monroe said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them!”

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Kids’ Food Basket

Central Elementary School

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers Rockford and Grand Rapids. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

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