Kids learn about gardens and history in summer museum visits

SYCAMORE – This summer, in addition to going to the pool and playing with friends, children who participated in the Sycamore School District 427 OSCAR program made regular visits to the Sycamore History Museum. The children, ages 5-11, participated in a variety of activities, including planting flowers, designing craft projects, trying new foods, going on scavenger hunts, and creating flower arrangements for seniors.

“This is was the first year we had the OSCAR students at the museum throughout the summer,” museum executive director Michelle Donahoe said. “For nine weeks, students and leaders came out to have some fun, but also learn more about their community. It was wonderful to see the children return week after week. They really formed a relationship with us out here at the museum. We are looking forward to working with the school district again next year.”

Sycamore History Museum volunteers, along with DeKalb County Master Gardeners, planned three stations per visit. Children learned about butterflies, insects and worms through the ithinkgreen program offered by the University of Illinois Extension. They also planted flowers and gourds in June, and in August harvested onions and garlic. This food was taken to the Northern Illinois Food Pantry.

Some of the older students decorated cups and cut fresh flowers for residents at Lincolnshire Place. Other activities included scavenger hunts and discovering what daily life was like for the Civil War soldiers based on the museum’s exhibit “General Dutton’s America.” Finally, they had some fresh snacks from the garden, provided by the University of Illinois Extension nutritionist.

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