Arkansas his­tory comes alive for Farm­ing­ton teacher

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - LYNN KUTTER

FAYETTEVILLE — There’s some­thing to be said for de­vel­op­ing Arkansas his­tory les­son plans in a house where his­tory was made.

That’s the case for Farm­ing­ton teacher An­drea Jenk­ins.

Jenk­ins, a sec­ond-grade teacher at Jerry “Pop” Wil­liams El­e­men­tary School, is spend­ing her sum­mer at the Clin­ton House Mu­seum writ­ing a new cur­ricu­lum that can be used for Arkansas his­tory and civics lessons, with an em­pha­sis on lead­er­ship.

For­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and his wife, Hil­lary Clin­ton, were mar­ried in the liv­ing room of the house lo­cated near the Univer­sity of Arkansas, and it was the only home they shared to­gether be­fore en­ter­ing state and na­tional pol­i­tics. From this house, they moved to Lit­tle Rock where Bill Clin­ton served as Arkansas at­tor­ney gen­eral.

Jenk­ins said the cur­ricu­lum will meet state stan­dards for so­cial stud­ies. The end goal for her work is that the lessons can be used in the class­room.

Angie Al­bright, di­rec­tor, said the Clin­ton House Mu­seum is shift­ing its fo­cus to add more pro­grams, es­pe­cially for chil­dren in the area.

“We have peo­ple come here from all over the world, but we want to be a re­source for lo­cal peo­ple as well,” Al­bright said.

Jenk­ins is tasked with a project to fig­ure out how the mu­seum’s mis­sion can meet state ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards and be a new re­source for teach­ers in Arkansas.

Al­bright said older peo­ple re­mem­ber Bill Clin­ton be­cause he was pres­i­dent of the United States, but now many young peo­ple and those from other coun­tries are in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about Hil­lary Clin­ton, who served as U.S. Sec­re­tary of State and was the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent in the Novem­ber 2016 gen­eral elec­tion.

“We have these two global in­ter­na­tional fig­ures who started their pro­fes­sional ca­reers right here,” Al­bright said.” We’re work­ing on telling a dif­fer­ent part of the story and more of the story.”

Jenk­ins said she is writ­ing nar­ra­tives for mu­seum tours geared to­ward chil­dren of dif­fer­ent ages and mak­ing them mean­ing­ful and in­ter­ac­tive for kids. She said some of her lessons will be based on the con­cept of lead­er­ship and how that ap­plies to the Clin­tons and other well-known lead­ers in the state.

The plan, Jenk­ins said, is to take the lessons to the class­room and fol­low up with a tour of the Clin­ton House Mu­seum.

Al­bright said she al­ready re­al­ized she needed a school teacher to help de­velop the pro­gram. Through friends of friends, Al­bright learned Jenk­ins had posted on Face­book she was look­ing for some­thing to do this sum­mer.

A re­la­tion­ship was forged and Jenk­ins is work­ing about 15 hours a week at the mu­seum and con­duct­ing re­search at home. In ad­di­tion to the his­tory of the Clin­ton House, re­search ma­te­rial also is be­ing used from the Univer­sity of Arkansas, Arkansas Depart­ment of Arkansas Her­itage and the Arkansas Hu­man­i­ties Coun­cil.

Jenk­ins said she is de­vel­op­ing lessons from a teacher’s per­spec­tive and think­ing about what a teacher would want in a les­son plan.

“Al­ready, I’ve learned so many things in Arkansas his­tory,” she said. “I def­i­nitely will take some of this back to my class­room.”

The mu­seum is at 930 W. Clin­ton Drive. Op­er­at­ing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon­day, Tues­day, Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day; 1 to 5 p.m. Sun­day; closed Wed­nes­day. Ad­mis­sion is free,

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/LYNN KUTTER

The Clin­ton House Mu­seum is listed on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places and is lo­cated at 930 W. Clin­ton Drive in Fayetteville. Bill and Hil­lary Clin­ton were mar­ried in the house and lived there dur­ing their early mar­ried life.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/LYNN KUTTER

Farm­ing­ton teacher An­drea Jenk­ins (right) is work­ing at the Clin­ton House Mu­seum this sum­mer on les­son plans for Arkansas his­tory and civics. Angie Al­bright (left) is mu­seum di­rec­tor and wanted a school teacher to come up with a new mu­seum cur­ricu­lum for chil­dren.

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