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Hands-On History House to open this month

The Hand-On History House is operated by the Centre for French Colonial and plans to provide a hands-on learning experience for history students of all ages. 

French Colonial America, the educational non-profit organization that operates the Centre for French Colonial Life, has announced the opening of a new interactive learning facility on its museum campus in Ste. Genevieve.

The Hands-On History House will offer participatory activities, demonstrations, craft projects, and games to help children, families, homeschoolers, and lifelong learners explore aspects of everyday life in this region during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The opening of the Hands-On History House will be held at the historic Beauvais-Linden house located at 116 S. Main St. in St Genevieve on March 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Following the initial opening day, the history house will be open Tuesdays for homeschoolers and on Saturdays for the general public. Bookings for school field trips will be available for Thursdays. An admission fee of $2 per person will be charged for general public visitors.

Under the leadership of French Colonial America Educational Program Coordinator Sandy Pushe, the project team developed programming for Hands-On History House that will explore three Missouri history themes during 2019. The themes will be the French and farm life; the French and the mighty Mississippi; and the French and the Native Americans.

Among the activities that visitors can participate in will be visiting a recreated Trading Post, taking part in a colonial classroom lesson, doing themed arts and crafts projects, and trying out special historical activities such as throwing tomahawks at targets.

“The goal of the project is to make history feel more real for learners of all ages and to add another element to the growing critical mass of historical resources and attractions in the Ste. Genevieve area," French Colonial America Executive Director Geoff Giglierano said.

“We are looking forward to the response to the Hands-On history activities being introduced,” said Sandra Cabot, director of Tourism for the City of Ste. Genevieve. “Children learn in many different modes and when you can engage them by allowing them to see and touch, they can relate to the subject in a more memorable way, which makes learning more appealing.”

“FCA is thrilled to open the Hands-On History House," Director of Museum Operations Robbie Pratte said. "We have been working on this program idea for a couple of years and Sandy and Kathy, FCA Educational Program coordinators, have put a lot of thought and effort into making hands-on activities for children that are both fun and educational. We are eager to offer an entire building on our museum campus dedicated to tactile learning for children and are especially excited to have it open on weekends.”

French Colonial America operates educational facilities and programs on behalf of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America.

The organization relies on donations and support of visitors and partners in the community who are interested in cultural historic preservation and creating educational opportunities that illustrate the area’s heritage.

Tax-deductible contributions for the Hands-On History House and French Colonial America's other educational programs are encouraged and appreciated by the organization. For more information, contact the Centre for French Colonial Life at 573-883-3105.

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Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com.

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