International Baccalaureate students tour Haile Homestead

Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at 11:19 p.m.
More than 100 11th-grade Eastside High School students in the International Baccalaureate program toured the Historic Haile Homestead recently at Kanapaha Plantation.
This represented the kick-off of the high school outreach program put together by docent coordinator Karen Kirkman and another docent, Diana Brantley, who is IB coordinator at Eastside.
The program not only exposes the students to local history, it also gives them the opportunity to join as docents themselves in order to earn community service credits as part of their graduation requirements.
This will hopefully expand the docent corps. Currently, the homestead is only open on Sundays because there are not enough volunteers.
Along during the special tour were 11th--grade IB history teachers David Jones and Sherry Estes and ninth-10th-grade IB math teacher Mike Kirkman (Karen's husband, who took photos), as well as a few parents.
At least one of the teachers gave extra credit if the students did a writeup of their visit, so in one group, there were many questions and some were taking notes.
Another bonus from the trip is that some of the students could get into research, since they need to write oral histories for their class.
The docents have been corresponding with a descendent of a Haile slave, who lives out on the West Coast, and have learned much more about the Haile's devoted house boy and later caretaker, Bennet Kelley.

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