MCHS students join in Underground Railroad study
Friday, October 04, 2013 11:00 AM
More than 45 high school students from across the state - including two from Madison Consolidated High School - will visit Underground Railroad sites in the area to study how they have been preserved.
Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit organization that preserves and rehabilitates historically significant properties, is hosting the Indiana Preservation Youth Summit this weekend. The event, designed for high schoolers, will take students and educators to Jeffersonville, New Albany and Madison where they will meet with local Underground Railroad and museum experts.
The Madison visit might result in a trip to Indianapolis at the end of the month. A team of students will be asked to share their perspectives on how to interest youth in history and preservation at an Oct. 31 meeting of the National Preservation Conference.
The annual conference is attended by preservationists, real estate developers, architects and planners, state and local officials and tourism experts.
Suzanne Stanis, director of education for Indiana Landmarks, said that makes this event more than just a field trip.
"Essentially we're going to ask them to be consultants and talk to park officials and conservationists about how to better engage youth."
"Instead of trying to determine what kids want, we're letting the students figure it out and tell us."
Students and educators were selected to attend the field trip through an application process. Madison Consolidated High School students Kendra Black and Randy McClure are attending the trip.
"I just like learning about history," Black said.
The junior learned about the summit from her mother. She's been interested in history since she was a child, she said.
"My mom just thought I'd be interested in it."
"Me and my grandpa used to go down to the riverfront and look for arrowheads a lot."
McClure is also attending the annual summit. He, like Black, is a history buff.
"My Avid teacher knew I like history and told me about it," he said.
McClure said he and Black are going to meet up with the traveling group of students at New Albany on Saturday.
The MCHS students are two of 108 who applied to participate in the program.
Each participant received a scholarship made possible through the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, the Indiana Department of National Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Freedom Trails, Inc.