Students Take A Field Trip Through Kearney’s Past, Present and Future

Kearney Historic Museum staff visit with KSD students to start summer school program

Kearney, Mo., June 6, 2022: Gerri Spencer wants Kearney’s children to have a better view of their own history.

Ms. Spencer is the Director of the Kearney Historic Museum. She and two museum volunteers visited Southview and Dogwood elementary schools today to help launch Kearney School District’s summer school program for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

Holding up a 150-year-old stereoscope that is part of the museum’s collection, Spencer explained how the device helped children in the 1870s experience places around the world before the advent of modern media. She wore a blue and white dress from the same time period in order to enhance the experience for the students.

“If you were a third-grader back then in Kearney, you might never have been able to visit places like New York or San Francisco, but you could still see them by using a stereoscope this like this with special stereo-card images,” she said. “Unlike a regular photo, this would give a more realistic viewing experience. It was their version of virtual reality.”

The 2022 Bulldog Summer program for elementary school students is focusing on helping Kearney students better appreciate their community’s past, present and future, according to program coordinator Kirsten Timchak. Each week through the end of the month will include presentations from different community organizations, including Watkins Mill.

“We’re looking forward to providing some really fun, interactive activities for our students while also helping them stay on track academically,” Ms. Timchak said. “I’m very grateful for all of our partners from the community who are working with us this summer!”

As part of this summer’s program, Timchak oversaw a client-connected project through KSD’s Real World Learning initiative. Kearney High School students produced four videos with community partners to introduce each week’s theme for the elementary summer school program. These video feature Spencer, Kearney Mayor Randy Pogue, Kearney’s Darrell “The Barber” McClung and Kearney Fire and Rescue District Captain David Pratt.