Last week, the occasion of the 285th birthday of the first president of the United States provided an opportunity to have kids get to know George Washington.

Soft SkillsAt Rockland Woods Elementary School near Hagerstown, the Washington County Historical Society made a presentation to students.

One of the items shown to them by curator Anna Cueto was a small piece of wood.  She asked if they could guess why it was significant.  After a few guesses that it was from farming equipment he had used, or wood used to make his teeth, Cueto told them that it was a piece of his coffin.

Fifth graders found out about some of the lesser known aspects of Washington’s life, and his contributions as an inventor, a scientist, and a farmer.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it gives them an idea of George Washington as a person, rather than just someone they’re studying in a book,” Cueto said. “It helps bring him back to life.”

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