Learning History With Art

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TAMAQUA -- Some students in Schuylkill County are getting art and history lessons at the same time. They are painting a mural that depicts the history and culture of Tamaqua.

The art students are from the Tamaqua Area Middle School learning the history of the borough.  With a few brush strokes on the wall along Lafayette Street, each artist brings a piece to life.

Student Kendra Boyle said a circular knitting wheel is just one example.

"It was invented by John E. Morgan and most of his money came from that and he founded the John E. Morgan Foundation, which helps out the town with improvements."

Student Kyle Ruch said he is learning a lot about his past through painting.

"I am working on the Moser log cabin, which was the first house in Tamaqua and it was built in 1801, by Burkhart Moser and it had the first birth in Tamaqua in it," he said.

A mother of one of the students, Stephanie Reed, said she likes the concept of combining painting with history.

"They learn a lot in school but when they're actually doing something, here their own work, they will learn a little bit more and remember more," said Reed.

The project took a lot of planning. Teacher Kim Woodward predicted the artists will complete their work at weeks end.

"I am so fortunate to work with this talented group of students. It's been a year working every day and to keep the stamina up for a year and not seeing the end product until now, I knew they would do a super job," Woodward said.

There are more than a dozen sponsors of the art program, including a towing company which donated a sign and a truck at one end of Lafayette Street to block it off and keep the kids safe.