MEXICO – Mexico Elementary School students recently took a step back in time when they visited an 1800s schoolhouse, located on the grounds of their sister school in Palermo.
Dressed in flower-printed lace and bonnets, the girls were joined by boys decked out in plaid or dress shirts and suspenders as they lined up to enter the one-room schoolhouse when the bell rang.
Teacher Linda Daly portrayed the school master and inspected the children’s hands as they entered the building before she and colleagues Donna Handley and Kate Laduc offered lessons back in time.
The students were in awe as they learned the early punishments for boys and girls playing together, betting or playing cards.
Lying was not acceptable, because “your word was a reflection of who you were,” Daly said.
Much like yesteryears, students today still learn the following schoolhouse lessons: minding manners, spelling, geography and penmanship.
The Mexico Elementary fourth-graders were able to review the structure of the building with their teachers, including the woodstove used back then for heat and cooking potatoes for lunch.
In a community effort, the schoolhouse was recently restored to its 1930s appearance, when it was last used as a school.
The building has since served as a living history museum.
Daly said the schoolhouse visit was a culmination activity for academic units about American history, colonialism, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and Erie Canal.