2016 ASSLH Award of Merit Winner

(Frank) Are you going to say, “We’re back” or what? (Deb) We’re back. (Frank) We’re back. (Deb) We’re back, and we want to give a shout out, today, to Lecompton. Historic Lecompton, of course, is one of our sponsors. There’s always something great going on in Lecompton, and we appreciate their supporting our show. If you’d like to support our show too, you can just get in touch with us and go to our website, find us on Facebook, whatever. Just let us know. We’d love to have you here too. There’s one of our fans now. Ross Freeman, who’s the proprietor of this establishment. See, a few more like him and the Emmy would be ours, Frank. It would be ours. Back to people who really won an award– (Frank) Well, Lecompton not only is historic but there along the river, it is a recreational area. That’s where bald eagles also nest. It’s something else to go and see over in Lecompton. (Deb) There’s so much, and now that they’ve got the restaurant open and the shops, it’s just—I cannot say enough good about Lecompton. (Frank) The thing is, though, I know I’m strange but, times that I go to visit Lecompton I kind of look around and say this could have been the capital of Kansas. (Deb) Almost was. (Frank) Okay, so it’s a very small town now, but what if the capital was over there, I don’t know. (Deb) Almost was. (Frank) It’s just my little strange mind that goes, “I can’t imagine, had this become the capital, what it would look like?” (Deb) Yes, and it almost was the capital. We are so proud of the folks in Lecompton. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done. (Frank) The American Association for State and Local History has announced that Sandy Gantz, 4th grade teacher in the Perry-Lecompton School District, along with her school colleagues and Lecompton’s museums, are the recipients of the prestigious Award of Merit for 4th Graders’ QR Codes for Historic Lecompton Walking Tour. Sandy received a grant from Thrivent Life Insurance Company and contacted Constitution Hall, operated by Kansas Historical Society, and the Territorial Capital Museum, operated by the Lecompton Historical Society. At the beginning of the project, school buses took the students on a tour of the town with museum staff and volunteers providing the narration. The students explored and photographed the sites. Fifteen volunteers from the community were gathered to go to the school once a week for 6 weeks to help the kids do research on the15 different sites to be included on the Walking Tour. The students with their community volunteers researched by interviewing locals, searching period newspapers, and reading articles. The students produced a 1-3 minute video on the history of their assigned site. They also designed artwork in the shape of quilt blocks to identify their site, and put a QR code at each site so that visitors to the town could easily access the videos with their smartphones. The walking tour with a map and scavenger hunt was printed and distributed to local businesses. The grant Sandy received paid for the QR code signs and map printing. The project debuted in 2015 during Territorial Days, the town’s yearly June celebration when residents and visitors come to Lecompton for a parade, reenactments, festivities, and food. This year the only award presented in Kansas was to our Lecompton project. Presentation of the awards will be made in Detroit, Michigan, this September. Receiving the award for Lecompton will be Rev. Bob Dulin and his wife Alrutha of Detroit. Rev. Dulin is a life member of the Lecompton Historical Society and a 1959 graduate of the Lecompton High School.

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