EL CENTRO — The Imperial Valley Home School Academy in El Centro held their Living History Museum Friday.
Students from kindergarten through eighth grade dressed up in costumes to become or showcase someone whom they admired, or were interested in, or want to be like when they grow up. Parents, grandparents, and family friends went from student to student as they told about the character they emulated as a living museum.
Murrie Plourd, principal and teacher, commented on the event.
“This is our seventh annual Living History Museum for the Imperial Valley Home School Academy,” said Plourd. “We started out with eight children in our first one and we have grown to sometimes 60 children in our Living History Museum.”
“Two years ago we were very fortunate that the Elementary School District actually built the Imperial Valley Home School Academy school facility,” continued Plourd. “So, we are able to utilize it on days like this when the weather kind of plays tricks on us and we can open all of the classrooms to hold our event inside. It’s a facility with three classrooms, a conference room, student and adult restrooms, basketball and volleyball court, playscape, library, and office. We’re just a regular school, a little school.”
The event has traditionally been held in the courtyard area outside between the classrooms, but the wind was too strong on Friday.
“This is my first year here at this school.,” said Suzy Sanchez, fourth through eighth grade math teacher. “I have heard about the living museum and I have seen pictures, so I was excited to see how this would work. These kids are amazing. They have worked very hard on their projects. There were a few kids that were unsure who they would want to study, so we gave them suggestions. Most of the kids had already chosen someone to study. There are really some great presentations.”
“This is absolutely wonderful,” said Christina Gomez, kindergarten, first, and second grade teacher. “I love the family atmosphere that it brought. I love how the kids are getting so much out of this on so many different subjects. Not only are they learning how to research, depending who they are researching, they are bringing in science, history, art, language arts, writing, and speaking. This is such a great way for them to do lots of learning all rolled in to one project. The kids are so motivated and they are excited to learn. The creative aspect is involved with these projects, too.”
El Centro Elementary School Disrtict board members Chuck Fisher and George McFadden attended the event.
“I am very pleased with the IV Homeschool Academy,” said Fisher. “The IV Homeschool Academy is actually a charter school that is chartered through El Centro Elementary School District to give parents an option. We have some great traditional public schools, too. We have seen this school grow from eight children to well over 100 children. I really appreciate the diversity of the projects we have here today, everything from Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Spiderman and Mr. Peanut. Anytime you can tailor a lesson to a child’s specific interest, it’s going to be a better lesson.”
“The kids here have the best of two worlds,” said McFadden. “Their parents are educating them at home, but they still get the social interaction of a school here. They go on field trips every week.
“Like many of our projects, families are highly involved because they are homeschooling their children,” said Plourd. “They are taking a very active role in the education of their children. When we have a project like this, it heightens what they are doing on a daily basis. To come and share with the rest of the other children is a great thing. You can tell their excitement in their presentations.”