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Tonawanda City Schools, Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum to be honored for classroom initiative

Tonawanda City Schools and the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum will be presented with the Hodgson Russ Excellence in Collaboration Award during the Erie County Association of School Boards awards dinner Thursday.

The award recognizes both for a program that introduced the history, art, music and mechanics of the carrousel horses to fourth- and fifth-graders. The museum in North Tonawanda had received a two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Service for educational purposes, which was used to work with the school district on the cross-curricular program. The grant also covered field trips to the museum and supplies.

Megan Hahin of the museum, who designed the lessons for Fletcher Elementary students, and Kim Honeck, Fletcher’s enrichment teacher, helped students explore the science behind the movement of the carrousel and its horses.

Art students in Jennifer Leone’s classes focused on the design of the carrousel horses.

Maria Kellner’s music classes concentrated on the pipe organs used for the carrousel.

The project also looked at the history of carrousels in the lessons of social studies teacher Joy Schwob. Newton laws of motion and simple machines were the focus of teachers Daniel Wodarczak and Kristi Fuerch.

The partnership supports the STEAM – science, technology, art and math – initiative for schools and fulfills goals of community collaboration and allowing students to practice 21st-century skills and examine technology used in a career, according to Assistant Superintendent Mary Beth Scullion.

A student art show will be on display at the museum on Father’s Day weekend, June 18 and 19.