From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


MC’s Indiana Heritage Program for children

seeks volunteers, presenters for May 5-7

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester College’s Koinonia Environmental and Retreat Center is gearing up for its second Indiana Heritage Program – and volunteers and experiences are needed to help bring Hoosier history to area children.

The May 5-7 Indiana history lesson is a spring version of the fall 2003 pilot program that drew 800 fourth-graders and teachers from schools throughout northeast Indiana to the 100-acre Koinonia, just south of Pierceton, Ind. New this fall is a one-day preview for eighth-graders, on May 7.

The workshops and hands-on experiences bring history to life as students learn about significant people, places and events in Indiana's history from the mid-1800s through present day. Important to area teachers, the program is correlated to the Indiana Academic Standards for Social Studies at the fourth-grade level.

Area historians, history buffs, folklore lovers and others who would like to pitch in are invited to volunteer. In addition to program presenters, Koinonia needs least 12 volunteers a day to ensure the program runs smoothly. Displays and exhibitions also are needed, especially those related to the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, pioneer life, Native American heritage and the importance of Indiana rivers.

Events for fourth-graders include lessons about James Whitcomb Riley’s poetry, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era, Sacagawea, prairie life (with a prairie schooner), tools, gardening and games. Events for eighth-graders will teach about Lewis & Clark, World War II veterans and the Underground Railroad. Inside are Indiana Historical Society displays on Hoosier cartoonists and “Sounds of Indiana.”

To participate in the Indiana History Program, contact Sue Gnagy, assistant director of Koinonia, at 260-982-7311. Her email is

Funding for the Indiana Heritage Program comes from The Dekko Foundation, which matched grants from Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Laketon Lion’s Club and North Manchester Kiwanis.

Koinonia is located 12 miles north of Manchester College and includes a 5-acre lake, woods, a two-story retreat building, environmental laboratories, kitchen and overnight housing.

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