On Wednesday, October 21, Olmstead’s eighth grade spent the day exploring their community and learning about the importance of making informed life choices.
Students began the day at the Reality Store, an activity spearheaded by Family/ Youth Resource and hosted by the Logan Co. Extension Office to simulate the impact of real world choices.
Upon arrival, each student was assigned a random career and salary, spouse, number of children, and then expected to budget for various real life expenses. Moving from station to station, students considered the cost of insurance, housing, grocery bills, car payments, and other household requirements and made choices based on the available funds of their family budget.
When discussing the impact of the Reality Store, students discussed several important life lessons they discovered through the process. Commenting on their experiences, Ashley Taylor said, “(It) was a slap in the face. It opened my eyes to the real world and appreciating things more,” while Leah Gill commented, “Being at the Reality Store taught me to have a new respect for all my parents do.”
Students later traveled to Octagon Hall in Franklin, KY, and explored its mystery and history. Built in 1847 by Andrew Jackson Caldwell, the rare eight-sided plantation home was used during the Civil War to hide soldiers and care for the wounded.
Inspired by the house’s stories, social studies teacher Kathleen Bailey asked students to write poems about their home’s special memories and stories, using “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon and “This is just to say” from William Carlos Williams as model texts.
Upon leaving Octagon Hall, students traveled back in time to a home built on an original American Revolutionary land grant for a family style lunch at Federal Grove. Student Paige Baldwin noted, “Federal Grove gives you the home-style dining experience, serving your meals hot and fresh. It feels like you’re at your grandma’s.”
After lunch, there was still time to learn more about our community in the day. The trip closed the day rotating between the Logan County Genealogical Society and Lewisburg Banking Company, both located in Russellville.
The Genealogical Society not only houses important documents valuable in researching your ancestry, but it is located in The Old Jail (1874-1977). The ladies volunteering gave the students a fascinating tour of the archives and jail including stories of the jailer’s family and the daily operations of the jail.
At the bank, Billy Bingham, President/CEO, gave students a tour of the bank and shared valuable information on the benefits of maintaining good credit scores, opening savings accounts, and explained how they protect customer deposits.
The students and teachers of Olmstead had a beautiful day developing a deeper understanding of the opportunities and history of our local area. A big thank you is extended to all communities’ members and leaders in making this day available to our students and a huge success.