Mount Union Professor Helps Compile History Book

September 05, 2013

Information courtesy of

Third-grade students in Alliance City Schools will see a special textbook in their classrooms this year. The school district partnered with the Alliance Historical Society to produce the "Alliance Pride" book.

The book will serve as a supplemental resource for every third-grade classroom in the district.

Alliance Historical Society President Karen Perone said the group wanted to make the history of Alliance accessible to local children. Classes are not able to take as many field trips to sites like the Mabel Hartzell Historical Home, so the historical society is bringing history to the classroom.

"And, hopefully, they'll want to bring their parents to one of the historical museums around town," Perone added.

The idea for the book was born during a conversation between Perone and ACS intervention coordinator Elayne Dunlap. The two discussed possible collaborations and decided to make a set of textbooks.

Dunlap said the book will be a great fit for the new common core curriculum. Under the new standards, third-graders are expected to learn about concepts of community and practical skills like reading historical documents.

With "Alliance Pride" as a tool, teachers who are not Alliance natives or residents will be equipped to teach their students about the local community.

The book also includes additional information and resources, which lends itself to more extended projects, presentations and field trips. She said speakers from the historical society would also make for a nice tie-in.

Alliance City Schools funded the project, and the historical society streamlined its research to prepare the book. Three hundred "Alliance Pride" books were printed at R.G. Drage Career and Technical Center.

Several others were involved in the compilation and planning of the project, including Joe Zelasko, lecturer of history at Mount Union, Thom Thompson, Michelle Dillon and Gordon and Lucy Harrison.

Dunlap said she is currently mulling over some additional ideas for providing teachers with resources that tie in to the community and its heritage.

"I learned a lot myself," Dunlap said. "Alliance has had a lot of firsts and other interesting things here."

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