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Contact: Kathleen Harter, 906-337-1104, ext. 132
The 14th Anniversary of Keweenaw National Historical Park is being celebrated with posters, exhibits, and special talks at the Calumet Laurium Keweenaw (CLK) Elementary School Library. Ms. Julie Dlubala, elementary school librarian, is introducing students to the park and the National Park Service through stories, pictures, and books. This focus on Keweenaw National Historical Park takes place from November 13-17, 2006.
Ms. Dlubala has been a librarian for many years and understands the importance of the area’s history and the need to engage students in active learning that encourages them to read more about a subject. To combine this passion for history and reading, Ms. Dlubala has turned the elementary library into a mini lesson about Keweenaw National Historical Park. Students are learning about the park, its partner sites, the jobs of park rangers, and what it means to attend school within the boundaries of a historical park.
The CLK school system is unique in that it lies within the boundaries of Keweenaw National Historical Park. Not many other schools in the country can make such a claim. Seizing upon this fact, the park and Ms. Dlubala have partnered together to create a Junior Ranger activity book. Currently in development, the book encourages children to learn about Keweenaw National Historical Park through a series of engaging activities. The book also includes information about the park, the Keweenaw Heritage Sites, and how they, as participants, can learn, explore, and protect special places. Upon completion of the activities within the book, participants will receive an official Junior Ranger badge and certificate. Once the Junior Ranger book is distributed in April, it will be the first children’s activity book created specifically for Keweenaw National Historical Park.
The book’s release is being timed to coincide with National Park Week, April 22-28, 2007. The current plan is to distribute the Junior Ranger book to all area schools during the week of April 15, 2007. This will allow students approximately two weeks to do the activities within the book and then attend a Junior Ranger ceremony at Keweenaw National Historical Park on Saturday, April 28, 2007. This date is also the official National Junior Ranger Day. More information regarding the release of the Junior Ranger book and related events will occur in 2007.
Funding for the development of the Junior Ranger booklet came from a grant from the National Park Foundation and Ocean Spray. These two organizations and the Student Conservation Association partnered together to offer National Park Service sites across the country the opportunity to develop Junior Ranger programs. The National Park Foundation Junior Ranger Ambassador Initiative enabled Keweenaw National Historical Park to develop its first ever Junior Ranger book.
The development of the Junior Ranger book and the displays and talks at the elementary school library are all done through dedicated and enthusiastic individuals interested in preserving local history. It’s through this partnership effort and the support of local teachers that young audiences are learning about the rich history of the Copper Country. As Ms. Dlubala stated, "It is my personal goal to make all 750 students at the CLK elementary school Junior Rangers of Keweenaw National Historical Park." Stop by and visit the elementary school library to learn more.