The Sanibel Historical Village hosted two fourth-grade classes from The Sanibel School.
On May 14, it was Julie Wappes' class, and on the next day students from Debbie Riley's class toured the museum.
Fourth grade is the year when the students study island history and the two classes, totaling around 55 students, arrived with lots of questions, eager to see and touch the things from the past.
Students gather on the porch of Rutland House as tour guide Karl Rodman explains Ruth Rutland’s system for visitors: if the wooden peg was vertical, visitors were welcome; if it was horizontal, she did not want visitors. PHOTO PROVIDED.
The museum has been hosting the school's fourth graders for a number of years.
"Last year, the students sent such charming thank-you notes that we put them in a binder that will stay in the old Schoolhouse for all our visitors to see," said Emilie Alfino, museum manager.
Tour guides for this trip were Karl Rodman, vice president of the museum board, and Alex Werner, immediate past president. Both former teachers, they knew just how to get the children involved and excited about learning.
"It was a pleasure to share our treasures with the fourth-grade students, who turned out to be alert, interested, and very well prepared," Rodman said. "Some were fascinated by the ghost story associated with Burnap Cottage. Others were impressed by the photographs of Will Reed and expressed a desire that his papier-mch mannequin be returned to the post office. It was particularly fun to turn the students loose in the garden and watch them pick -- and devour -- cherry tomatoes and ripe tangerines."
The museum plans to continue this program in the future.
Learn more at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A full guided tour takes place at 10:30 a.m. at no additional charge, depending on the availability of a docent. The museum closes for the summer after Aug. 2 and re-opens Nov. 5. The Sanibel Historical Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access to all buildings. Admission is $10 for adults (18 and over). Members and children are free. For more information, call 472-4648 during museum hours or visit sanibelmuseum.org.