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Heathwood Columbia Connections Partnership with Historic Columbia Will Bring History to Life for Students

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What was daily life like when Woodrow Wilson was a boy growing up in Columbia? What kind of education did children who were living in South Carolina during the time of the Civil War receive? Students at Heathwood will now be able to explore those questions and many others in a much more tangible way thanks to a new education partnership between Historic Columbia and Heathwood’s Columbia Connections program.

The partnership will bring a rich trove of historical artifacts to the Heathwood campus through Historic Columbia’s Traveling Trunk programs, and will provide more opportunities for Heathwood students to explore Columbia’s history through field trips and enhanced access to primary resources. Students and their families will also be invited to special events, including a holiday candlelight tour and a presentation and book signing by Historic Columbia’s Director of Cultural Resources.

Through the Traveling Trunk program (http://www.historiccolumbia.org/education/traveling-trunk-program), Historic Columbia brings history to life in the classroom. Trunks featuring artifacts and activities related to pivotal periods in South Carolina history will be brought to Heathwood eight times a year, and will enhance social studies lessons across all grades.

The partnership will also open the doors of Historic Columbia sites to Heathwood students through field trips to iconic house museums including the Robert Mills House & Gardens, the Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, and the Man-Simons Site & Outdoor Museum.

And on Friday, December 16 from 6-9 p.m., Heathwood students, faculty, and staff are invited to join Historic Columbia for a complimentary candlelight tour of the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion, featuring live music, children’s activities, holiday décor and traditions, and an opportunity to complete last-minute shopping with a 25% discount in the Gift Shop at Robert Mills.

Partnering with Historic Columbia to enhance Heathwood students’ access to a wealth of historical resources was a natural fit, says Columbia Connections Director Donnie Bain: “Columbia Connections is all about connecting our students, families, and faculty with experts in the community who can bring classroom lessons to life. Historic Columbia does that so well in so many ways—through documents, artifacts, tours, and more. Partnering with them helps us extend opportunities for our students and families to connect with and become more knowledgeable about the history of our community.”

Historic Columbia (www.historiccolumbia.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Columbia and Richland County’s historic and cultural heritage. In addition to managing local historic properties, Historic Columbia offers daily house and garden tours, walking tours, and guided bus tours; rents historic houses and gardens for special events; curates exhibits from local artifacts; hosts a full calendar of community events; and works closely with city and county officials to protect structures with historical significance and places that matter to the community.

Heathwood’s Columbia Connections program (http://www.heathwood.org/campus-life/columbia-connections) enhances student learning by providing unique educational opportunities with leaders from the academic, cultural, scientific, non-profit, and business communities in Columbia. By working with diverse members of the community and exploring a range of issues, challenges, and opportunities using different tools and resources, students gain a richer, more in-depth understanding of how the skills and knowledge they acquire in the classroom translate into real-world action.