Middle school students visit cemetery to learn about history

Terry Selby talks to kids about WWII veteran, Donald Veach
Terry Selby talks to kids about WWII veteran, Donald Veach

MANILA, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 middle school students were able to hear some "Tales from the Cemetery" Thursday afternoon from people portraying important figures from their community.

Sixth graders at Manila Middle School spent the day learning about history in a way their teacher hopes they won't forget anytime soon.

"It's easier to learn because it's like you're talking to the real person, kind of," sixth grader, Alexis Emmons told Region 8 News.

"I was born on January the 9th, 1846," Iris Poteet told the group. She was portraying Clarkie Bishop. A woman who lived through the Civil War.

Sixth grade history teacher, Janet Metheny said her goal is to make history come alive to these kids.

"They'll stop and listen and they'll remember," Metheny said. "I found that going out is just as good as having them in the classroom with me."

That's why local members of the community dressed up as those important to the town's history to tell their story.

"The little towns don't realize what they have in their cemeteries or still living and walking the streets," Terry Selby said. "I hope they walk away with an understanding of what's in their own communities."

Selby told the students about World War II Veteran, Donald Veach.

"I was also a part of the 82nd and they were like my childhood heroes forever and ever," Selby said.

Following listening to speakers, the children went on a scavenger hunt in the cemetery.

Some of the items they had to find were headstones of those who served in the war and the oldest headstone in the cemetery.

Luke Hudson said he learns better in this type of setting.

"It's just harder in class when they just explain it instead of just watching them outside," Hudson told Region 8 News.

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