By Allyson Dix
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Each month, the Metcalfe County Public Library hosts special meets for the county’s homeschool families. Packed with a variety of learning activities and fun for the students, the Homeschool OWL Group is dedicated to serving families with students who are homeschooling their children with opportunities.
Last Wednesday, Amy Branstetter brought to life an overview of Metcalfe County for the students. Branstetter, who is the University of Kentucky Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development, taught students the location, local government officials and duties, and historical parts of the county.
Her slideshow presented photos of each of the officials of the city and county as well as touching briefly on the higher state and federal officials such as the governor and president.
By engaging the students in an activity, Branstetter helped to solidify learning different areas of the county based on where the students lived. After that, they toured downtown Edmonton beginning with the Historical Courthouse housed in the heart of the city where Laurie Butler hosted the informative tour.
Students and their parents visited other facilities including the historic jail and new court house where Court Officers Wendell Sexton and Jackson Romines gave a tour of the courtroom and facility.
Branstetter initiated the civic program within the local public school system seven years ago and this is the first time it’s been introduced to local homeschools.
“I started this program within the public school system when a need arose for civic engagement where the kids could actually learn what they needed to do and what kind of people they would like to elect into our positions,” Branstetter explained.
Taking it a step further, Branstetter incorporated more into the program so that the youth can see and know what is offered around the square.
“Taste of the Square is a portion of the program and shows the youth who our officials are and where they’re housed,” she added, “We just really try to touch on different aspects and we want them to know what’s around the square when they drive around including the businesses.”
These experiences provide the youth with knowledge that can spark ideas for their own futures.
“Maybe they’d like to have their own city engagement, ideas they’d like to see happen in the county, if they want to be an elected official, or just simply make a difference in the county,” Branstetter said.
MCPL Outreach Service Coordinator Susan Hornek plays a key role in coordinating the Homeschool OWL Group events. “We were treated to a highly educational and fascinating tour that over 30 students and parents were able to experience,” Hornek said, “It was a wonderful tour and Ms. Branstetter also gave us background history on all the storefronts surrounding the square, too.”
Look for more information in the Edmonton Herald News on the OWL Homeschooling group in future publications.