From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


Fourth-graders will visit Indiana history at Manchester College’s Heritage Days May 4-5

PIERCETON, Ind. – Fourth-graders from throughout northeast Indiana will visit with Abraham Lincoln, Civil War soldiers, Native Americans, a fur trader, author Gene Stratton Porter and others from Indiana’s heritage May 4-5. Well, not actually, of course!

But artists, actors, musicians and program leaders are prepared to educate, entertain and re-enact the state’s rich history for an estimated 400 area school children during the Indiana Heritage Program on the 100-acre Koinonia Environmental and Retreat Center of Manchester College.

Teachers and principals are signing up their classes now for the program, in its second year at Koinonia, south of Pierceton. Children can expect to inspect wildlife and fossils, try their hands at crafts, visit a Civil War camp, meet a Native American, play pioneer games and climb aboard a prairie schooner so surrounded by prairie grass they’ll travel back 200 years in time. And much more!

The program brings together scores of volunteers, presenters, musicians and adult visitors to focus on activities tailored to fourth-graders, MacPhail said. An estimated 200 students from seven to eight schools each day will attend the four-hour program, which includes lunch.

Indiana Heritage Program, unique to Manchester College, is funded by grants and donations.  The activities fulfill the Indiana Academic Standards for Social Studies for fourth grade, making the program popular for teachers, McPhail said. “I thought the program was awesome,” said an area teacher whose class participated last year. “The volunteers loved what they were doing and really got into it!”

In addition to the special presentations and re-enactments, the fourth-graders will roam inside the main Koinonia environmental center, where they will study Indiana wildlife, historic maps and a history of the immediate area. In the huge activities room, they’ll get more hands-on experience.

To schedule classes, groups or home-schoolers for the Indiana Heritage Program, contact Rainn MacPhail at 260-982-5010 or  The cost per student is $3.

Funding for the Indiana Heritage Program comes from The Dekko Foundation, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Biomet, DePuy Orthopaedics and Bart’s Water Sports.

The two-story Koinonia Environmental Center has sleeping and kitchen facilities for retreats. There’s also an outdoor classroom, a fishing program, a fossil dig, and the “Talking Rocks and Mineral Resources Trail” developed by the Indiana Mineral Aggregate Association.  Most of Koinonia is handicap-accessible, including the covered wagon and many of the trails. 

About 4,000 students from area schools participate in Koinonia’s programs annually, primarily from Kosciusko, Wabash, Whitley, Allen and Noble counties.

Manchester Media Relations

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