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Bringing history to life for area children

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 3:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 3:35 p.m. CDT
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
Dressed for the part, Simeon Bystry fosters his interest in history and wars by browsing through a history book at the Princeton Public Library. Simeon joined his siblings Faustina, Patience, Milo and Amelia at the library, while his mother Rachel Bystry prepares for the Journey Stories children's programs which are part of the Journey Stories Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition at the library.

PRINCETON — History should be fun and exciting, and that’s just what Rachel Bystry says she has tried to accomplish as she’s planned the Journey Stories children’s programs at the Princeton Public Library.

The children’s programs are part of the Journey Stories Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition which begins with an opening reception at 4 p.m. Sunday at the library. The children’s programs are scheduled for each Tuesday, at 3:30 p.m. in the children’s department of the library.

Bystry has planned six programs for Journey Stories. Each program will be totally different with unique themes and activities. She has tried to create a variety of programs which will be of interest to both boys and girls. All programs are free of charge.

The first program, held last Tuesday, focused on the stories, histories and activities of young pioneers, including hunting, trapping, tracking and survival skills. Matt Martinkus helping Bystry with the program.

Next Tuesday’s program will focus on the American Girls stories of Josephina, Rebecca and Addy, girls from different backgrounds and how they learned to fit into the melting pot of the United States. Children at Tuesday’s program will have the chance to learn some traditional crafts of varied cultures, Bystry said.

On Nov. 27, the children’s program will focus on young pioneers and immigrants with a look at navigation, astronomy, sailing and knot-tying. This program will be one that could be especially interesting to boys, Bystry said.

On. Dec. 4, the program will introduce the American Girls stories of Kit, Ruthie, Molly and Emily who are portrayed in the setting of the Great Depression years. Children will learn about how meals were prepared during those years and also experience some hands-on baking.

On Dec. 17, the program will focus on the journey of veterans during World War II. Children will learn how to write and decipher secret code and to construct a bomb shelter. Local veterans Gib Martin and Roger Swan will be on hand to share their stories with the children.

The final program, on Dec. 18, will focus on the American Girls stories of Felicity and Caroline, two young American girls with British ties and how they were affected by the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Children will learn about English traditions and foods from an English tea party. Tea party attire would be appropriate, but optional, Bystry said.

“There is so much rich history that is so much fun to learn about,” Bystry said. “These programs will be fun and exciting for both boys and girls.”

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