Often, at the end of the school year or sometimes at the beginning, I like to devote this column to our schools. Usually, I peruse material in the files at the Powell Liberty Historical Society, but today, I think you might enjoy reading about a recent project at The Village Academy Schools, a private school on South Liberty Street.

Often, at the end of the school year or sometimes at the beginning, I like to devote this column to our schools. Usually, I peruse material in the files at the Powell Liberty Historical Society, but today, I think you might enjoy reading about a recent project at The Village Academy Schools, a private school on South Liberty Street.

The Village Academy opened in Powell as a grade school in 1990. The high school opened in 1996. Currently, their student population numbers about 400.

Teachers Anne Barnett and Anne McDonald created a wonderful history project for their fourth-grade students this year which culminated in presenting a "wax museum," followed by a special program at the historical society.

The students were given about 50 names of famous Ohioans from which they each selected one individual for whom they would do research. All of this was done in class, so there was no parental help. Peer review was permitted and encouraged. This gave students the opportunity to learn about more than their chosen Ohioan.

The steps in their research included collecting resources. Then they did what we all remember doing: making research note cards, putting them in outline form, creating a rough draft, and putting together a final copy. Ms. Barnett said they all learned how to correctly make a bibliography.

At the end of the project, the student body and staff, families and friends were invited to visit the "wax museum" where, with the deposit of a few coins, the famous personalities would come alive and share information about themselves. The students all dressed in the appropriate attire which, I'm certain, was a lot of fun for them and part of the learning experience, too.

The Powell Liberty Historical Society received $200 from the donations at the "wax museum." The four students who appeared in costume at the historical society's program saved this news until they completed their presentation. Of course, this being the 21st century, they gave a PowerPoint presentation.

All four Ohioans who were featured speakers were male, but two were portrayed by twin sisters, Jordan and Sidney Reineke. It wasn't until refreshment time that we learned that fact. Jordan was Eddie Rickenbacker, whose blazer was decorated with convincing medals. Sidney was Hugh Downs, the quiz show moderator and later a more serious reporter, previously completely unknown to Sidney. Wearing a handsome hat, Evan Bennett portrayed Paul Newman, and Sidharth Menon was the famous John Glenn. He sported an authentic-appearing space uniform.

During this project, I was contacted by Ms. Barnett and asked to share the program "The People of Powell."

I explained it did not include famous people, just town folks who played a role in developing the community over 200 years.

It delighted me to have one student recognize a family member when I did my PowerPoint presentation at the school. It was a nice surprise for both of us.

The students who came to the 1889 Martin-Perry House to share their project were so enthralled with the house and its contents that their teachers have arranged for the remainder of their class plus some fifth-graders to take a tour.

We've developed quite a relationship, and we are pleased to help make local history come alive for these young people, a fair number of whom are not Powell residents.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell Liberty Historical Society.