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Living History: Cornerstone hosts museum of historical figures, played by kids

Cornerstone Schools had some big names on campus last week as they welcomed the likes of Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart, Babe Ruth and many other historical figures as fourth-grade students put on their annual living wax museum.

“I decided to be Amelia Earhart because I just thought she was a really cool person,” said fourth-grader Madden Callis. “And I also liked her because she kind of stood up from women’s rights, and I just like that about her, and that she was brave.”

She was one of several students who researched, dressed up and presented during the wax museum.

“They chose their own person, I had nothing to do with their choice,” teacher Christine Freas said. “For five weeks they’ve been researching. They’ve had to read books, go on the Internet, encyclopedias, write a report and take notes on what they learned.”

Outside of the research, students also had to create tri-fold displays and dress up as the person they chose.

Vivian Hosier said it took a lot of work to get ready just to present as American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who Hosier said she admired for her work.

“I had to make [my display] first, which took a week or two, and I had to do some props,” she said. “My grandma made this [nurse’s] apron, and I found some old clothes that look like Clara Barton.”

Freas said that along with the fun side of the project, students learned important study skills.

“We’re trying to teach research, public speaking, just knowing the person inside and out,” Freas said. “Just good study skills and time management and anything you could imagine.”

Catherine Callis, Madden Callis’ mother, said that it was obvious how much the students put into their presentations.

“They did a lot of work. I think that’s what was interesting about watching the kids, because they had to pick their character. They had to read a book about their character. They had to do online research,” Callis said. “It was highly involved, and these kids were into it big time, so it’s pretty cool to watch.”