We are about to begin a new season of the Education Program at Mennonite Heritage Village. Each year we host 4,000-5,000 students for a day of exposure to various historical aspects of our museum. This program is designed to support the school’s Social Studies curriculum. From February to mid-April we deliver an indoor winter program, which offers two slightly different formats of the program for Grades K-3 and Grades 4-6.
On March 13 we welcomed our first group, comprised of 23 Grade 4 students from Winnipeg accompanied by teachers and parent volunteers. MHV interpreters greeted them in period costume at various stations in the galleries and other locations in the Village Centre. Each station taught them something about the history of the Mennonites. Students heard about the migration from Russia to Canada; watched demonstrations of sock darning, wool blanket-making, spinning, and woodworking with antique tools; received lessons on the structure and functionality of the windmill; listened to the story of Sush, a little girl who lived in a semlin; and got a chance to write on a slate, bake schnetje, and wash clothes on an old washboard. This hands-on experience is always an exciting time for the children and therefore makes the four-hour program go by very quickly.
There are several more bookings for this program during March and April. We look forward to hearing the excited chatter and laughter of the children as it echoes through the hallways of the Village Centre.
- By Anne Toews