MEXICO — Mountain Valley Middle School students are in the midst of an in-depth study of Maine and the Civil War thanks to a project that involves teachers in several disciplines, the Rumford Historical Society, the Rumford Public Library, and several other community members or groups.
The project is under the school’s new Quest program, said Nick Waugh, writer of the Local and Legendary grant and coordinator of the project.
One of the teachers in the team approach to the subject area, math and social studies teacher Craig Milledge, said in an email that 65 seventh- and eighth-graders in each of the school’s three trimesters will learn subject content one day a week with a Civil War emphasis.
Students are learning about the music of the Civil War through music teacher David Rossler, math under Milledge, social studies with Steve Lapointe and literature with Ryanne Prevost.
Middle school teacher Doug Barber will show and describe Civil War artifacts and documents, and talk about his great, great, grandfather’s experiences during that war on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A culminating event for the end of the first semester of Maine Civil War projects and events takes place at the Rumford Public Library from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 19.
Milledge said via email that students will share projects, such as exhibits and movies they have created.
“Students have taken a lot of ownership over their learning and we teachers have seen a very genuine increase in student engagement,” Milledge wrote.
Waugh said topic-specific books are being read by students and community members. Veterans will be invited to read and discuss “Soldier’s Heart” with small student groups.
A variety of other events will take place throughout the school year.
This Local and Legendary project takes place soon after Waugh and other community people worked with students to digitize a multitude of local historical artifacts for the Maine Memory Network, which is a Maine Historical Society website that has archived thousands of historical items from across the state.