Campus program helps bring history to youth

News Release Date: 

Hometown History on Wheels receives $2,500 from Ohio State Marion's Harding Symposium

Marion County elementary school students will continue to have a ride to the Harding Home and other historic sites in Marion County thanks to proceeds from this summer’s Harding Symposium sponsored by The Ohio State University at Marion.

The Symposium, a two-day program of events focused on President Warren G. Harding and his era brought several hundred people to the Ohio State Marion campus July 23rd and 24th and generated $2,500 in net proceeds. Those proceeds were promised to the Hometown History on Wheels program managed by Sherry Hall, site manager for the Harding Home. Hometown History on Wheels allows the county’s elementary students to visit the Harding Home, Heritage Hall, Huber Museum and other historic sites in Marion County by paying the transportation costs for the field trips.

“A lot of school districts have cut out field trips and this reimburses them $100 per bus to come on a full-day field trip to the Harding Home plus other Marion historical sites, so it finances our program for this year,” said Hall as she received the check from Dave Claborn, Ohio State Marion director of development and community relations.

“The Harding Symposium allows Ohio State Marion to be engaged in the presidential history so closely associated with our community,” said Claborn, “but it also allows us to spread that education beyond our campus and into the classrooms of every elementary school in Marion County.”

Recently, on a stop at a Hardin County farm during his summer tour, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee told a crowd, “”The state is our campus.” The partnership between Ohio State Marion and the Hometown History on Wheels program puts President Gee’s words into action.

As Sherry Hall received the Ohio State check, a group of third graders from St. Mary’s Elementary School in Marion arrived at the Harding Home on a bus paid for through the Hometown History on Wheels program. Their teacher, Cathy Tobin, said her classes have been taking advantage of the Hometown History on Wheels program for at least four years. She teaches a quarter on Marion history and said the field trips make it real to her students.

“They absorb their hometown history so much better when they can actually visit the sites,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

The Ohio State University at Marion through the Harding Symposium will continue to offer programs exploring issues surrounding the nation’s 29th president, who made his home in Marion. The next Harding Symposium program is scheduled for January 20th when Ohio State Marion will present “The Music of Florence Harding” in an original production focusing on the history and musical tastes of the first lady and featuring pianist Merrill Cooper Bender, cellist Gary Iams, the Republican Glee Club of Columbus as well as Dr. Katherine Sibley, the author of First Lady Florence Harding: Behind the Tragedy and Controversy (University Press of Kansas, 2009).