Children’s Programs Teach Importance of Local History
The Textile Heritage Center, located in Cooleemee, NC, offers engaging, active programs that teach Cooleemee Elementary School students about local history.
Most children of Cooleemee Elementary School readily recognize Lynn Rumley, the executive director of the Textile Heritage Center. Mrs. Rumley, along with more than fifteen active local resident volunteers, offers educational programs that provide hands-on history and heritage lessons. Conveniently located in sight of the elementary school, the Textile Heritage Center offers a close-up look at different aspects of life in Cooleemee’s past.
Pre-Kindergarten – Old Time Music Program
Music is the focus of the preschoolers visiting Cooleemee’s Textile Heritage Center. These children have the opportunity to hear music played on a 1934 radio as well as an Edison Victrola. The kids hear a local string band on the front porch and also try their own singing skills as they join along with tunes played on a piano.
Kindergarten – The Importance of Family Program
The kindergarteners learn about the importance of family life in Cooleemee. No batteries or video games are here, as the kids have the opportunity to see antique toys. Children listen to stories of how families enjoyed simple pleasures of life and what sorts of Christmas treats were enjoyed by children of generations gone by. Each child has the opportunity to help decorate the Center’s Christmas tree by hanging an ornament that she decorated for this special program.
First Grade – Children’s Chores in Old Cooleemee Program
Children in the first grade gain a greater appreciation for responsibilities as they learn about kid’s chores from the past. A visit to the Heritage Center’s nearby Mill House Museum gives the first graders a chance to see a restored mill house and grounds. Kids have the opportunity to pick up a hoe and tackle the weeds in the garden and help wash clothes without using electricity. Children who love animals may particularly enjoy leading a cow or feeding the chickens. Many of these kids may have never heard of the term “slop the hogs,” but they may have the opportunity to learn all about that first-hand.
Second Grade – Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program
Cooleemee life in the past often involved neighbors helping other neighbors. The second graders listen to an elder recount a true story of how a fire destroyed a home but how the community gathered together to support the homeless family. Children also learn about and participate in a “pounding.”
Third Grade – The Geography of Old Cooleemee Program
One of Mrs. Rumley’s favorite questions during the geography lesson for the third graders is to ask the kids to point toward the north. Invariably, many of the children point straight up toward the sky. With maps in hand, these third graders get to practice newfound navigation skills while taking a walking tour of Cooleemee. The kids have the opportunity to learn more about some of the older buildings in town as they walk.
Fourth Grade – Historic Economies at the Yadkin River Program
The history of three economies and the importance of the Yadkin River, which runs near the Textile Heritage Center, is the focus for the fourth-grade lesson. Children learn about how the river played a part in many people’s livelihood, including Native Americans, Backcountry settlers, and the people who worked at the nearby cotton mill.
Fifth Grade – Why They Fought for Liberty Program
Fifth graders get a close-up view of the restored Pearson Graveyard to learn more about America’s fight for independence. They have the opportunity to learn about Captain Pearson and his patriot militiamen. Children also learn about the geographic area called the “Forks of the Yadkin” on this informative field trip.
Children of Cooleemee Learn Important History Lessons at Textile Heritage Center
Preschoolers to fifth graders are each treated to hands-on history lessons at Cooleemee’s Textile Heritage Center with the generous help of several area volunteers. Equipped with a greater appreciation for their rich heritage, these children may become the leaders of tomorrow who work to preserve history and value the efforts and lifestyles of elders within the community and beyond.
Textile Heritage Center
131 Church St, Cooleemee, NC 27014
Phone: (336) 284-6040