Educational outreach is a prime objective of the Indian Hill Historical Society. The “One Room Schoolhouse Experience” is a highly acclaimed event held annually in January / February for local elementary school students. Approximately 300 fourth graders from Indian Hill School, St. Gertrude School, and Cincinnati Country Day participate each year at the Little Red Schoolhouse. Started in 1992, the program lets these children experience what it was like being a student at the Schoolhouse when it was built in 1873.
Learning as students did in the 19th century, the students study Village history, recite from McGuffey’s Readers, try their hands at cursive penmanship, identify common household items from that era, play marbles, and do ciphering with chalk and slate. Students are mesmerized by tales of life in earlier times, and they note the differences between a rural one room school of yesteryear and their 21st century classrooms.
This is a two week program with the children coming via school bus for half day sessions. The Society Historian, Lindsay McLean, is the schoolmarm, and parent and Board volunteers assist her with the stations for the simultaneous activities around the room. The “living history” experience makes the schoolhouse come alive for the fourth graders.
The “One Room Schoolhouse Experience” has been awarded the Griffin Yeatman Award for Historic Achievement by the Hamilton County Recorder as well as the History Outreach Award from the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums.