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Students get timely lesson in history

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    Toledo Public Schools employee Brett Flory opens the time capsule near a portrait of Grove Patterson, for whom the academy is named. The former Blade editor-in-chief was a nationally known columnist.

    Jetta Fraser / The Blade
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    Principal Gretchen Bueter, left, holds the time capsule so Madeline Lockyer can photograph its contents.

    Jetta Fraser / The Blade
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Students-get-timely-lesson-in-history

Toledo Public Schools employee Brett Flory opens the time capsule near a portrait of Grove Patterson, for whom the academy is named. The former Blade editor-in-chief was a nationally known columnist.

Jetta Fraser / The Blade
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Madeline Lockyer and her principal were the first to glimpse a piece of history yesterday as a copper box was sawed open to reveal artifacts buried more than 50 years ago.

The fifth-grade student snuck up on stage to snap a photo of what was inside: yellowed newspapers, black-and-white photos, and a dime and two nickels.

"It was really different because ours is all in color," the young reporter said of Grove Patterson Academy's student newspaper, The Bulldog Barks. "It's like, 'Wow, that's what it was like back then.'•"

Madeline, 11, and the rest of her school witnessed the unveiling of a time capsule from 1952 at their former school building.

The school is named for former Blade Editor-in-Chief Grove Patterson, who worked at the paper from 1910 to 1956 and was nationally known for his "The Way of the World" column.

During the dedication of the school years ago, the sealed copper box was placed inside the cornerstone. It stayed untouched until the building was torn down recently for the academy now under construction.

Students-get-timely-lesson-in-history-2

Principal Gretchen Bueter, left, holds the time capsule so Madeline Lockyer can photograph its contents.

Jetta Fraser / The Blade
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Inside the box were several editions of The Blade, including that day's newspaper for April 3, 1952; photos of Mr. Patterson and his wife, Esther, and school board members; reprint booklets of Mr. Patterson's columns, and the script and recording of the "Ohio Story" radio program featuring Mr. Patterson.

"I think this is great history because we weren't here to know about what was going on then," said A'Yanna Bishop, 11, a sixth-grader at the school. "They're kind of interesting."

The opening of the time capsule coincides with the school's "pursuit of happiness" letter-writing project.

In 1953, a teacher sent letters to influential people, including Eleanor Roosevelt, asking what guided their pursuit of happiness. The responses were compiled in a booklet.

This year, the students again are sending out letters to prominent people to see if that pursuit has changed in 50 years.

"I bet as we go through this, there's not going to be a lot that's different," Principal Gretchen Bueter said of both the capsule and responses they'll get from the letters. "I think everybody was excited to be a part of this."

Ms. Bueter will take the artifacts from the time capsule around to the classes so students can get a close-up look at local history and learn about their school's legacy.

Although Ms. Bueter knew what to expect when opening the box because it was reported in The Blade back in 1952, seeing it was something special.

"Actually opening the box and gazing upon it is very real, very emotional," she said.

Grove Patterson Academy, which serves about 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, is compiling its own history for a time capsule to be placed in the clock tower of its new building, which should open for next school year.

It will include a yearbook, the current application for the academy, newspaper articles, a school report card from the Ohio Department of Education, awards, and more.

It is hoped the items will get as much attention as the historic artifacts did yesterday among district officials.

"I was looking through papers from 1952 - of course that's before I was born - and I thought it was interesting to see the news and headlines," Superintendent John Foley said. "I was kind of surprised it was so well preserved."

He said this time capsule and the one being created for future generations are a great way for students to learn local history.

"I hope they get a sense of history and learn about the culture and how things have changed in the last 50-some years and how they stay the same," he said. "I think it's a valuable lesson, not just to read about it and hear about it, but to see it."

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

mgilbert@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.

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