History came alive on Tuesday afternoon at Mullens Elementary School.
Fourth graders at the school did a Living Museum History program in honor of Black History Month.
Each student did a project on African-Americans from history. They set up a display board in the school gym, talked about their subject to visitors and dressed as the person they were talking about.
Some used tablets to provide additional information on their topic.
They talked about the living (Barack Obama) and the dead (Fredrick Douglass), sports figures (Jackie Robinson) and civil rights legends (Rosa Parks).
Students also did projects on persons less widely known.
Henry “Box”Brown (1816-97) mailed himself in a crate from Richmond, Va., to Philadelphia to escape slavery.
“He made his life story into a stage show,” said Brendon Shrewsbury.
Haley Green’s project focused on Jane Cooke Wright (1919-20130, a cancer researcher and surgeon.
“She helped create one of the first cancer treatments,” who wore a surgeon’s white scrubs.
Green said she worked on her project for three weeks.
Yara Warner wore a long dress and coat for her presentation on Marian Anderson (1897-1993). “She was an opera singer, and she sang at the Lincoln Memorial,” Warner reported.
Brandon Phillips focused his project on Wendell Scott (1921-90), the first African-American NASCAR driver.
“I like NASCAR so I was interested in him,” Phillips commented.
Devin Sesco reported on Harriet Tubman, a hero of the Underground Railroad.
“A lot of people think it was a real railroad, but it wasn’t,” he said.
Tubman, he explained, helped more than 300 slaves to freedom.
“She thought all people should be free,” Sesco remarked.
Family and friends strolled around the gym and listened to the presentations. MES students from other classes also toured the museum.
“Miss (Kara) Brown (a teacher) came from Texas, and she had done something like this there,” said Nina Tunstalle, a fourth grade teacher.
Tunstalle said students would receive both an ELA (English Language Arts) and history grade for their projects.
It took about three weeks to prepare for the living museum, she reported. State testing delayed the program, which prevented it from taking place during Feburary (Black History Month).
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.