An accident in the middle of construction provided an an opportunity for students learning history from a collection of newspapers stored in a closet that had been forgotten.
At La Salle-Peru Township High School, teachers and administrators prepared for an upcoming $38 million renovation to the 1927 building by cleaning out closets, boxes, and cabinets. The materials that were brought out of hiding have fit very well with a class on local history. The class archives the material each Friday.
“It was just in a pile in one of the closets,” said librarian Dave Kelty.
A great deal of the material is in magazines and newspapers.“We have found tons of laminated scrolls of papers,” said Holly Ziegler, the teacher of the local history class.
The items that students are sorting are national magazines and newspapers, and copies of the local News-Tribune, including daily editions that started on Setpember 11, 2001.
“We just found Sept. 12, Sept. 13, Sept. 14 … because of what was going on in the world after Sept. 11,” Ziegler said. The students were infants when the terror attacks happened.
“For those of us who remember that time, day to day was kind of like, ‘what’s going to happen next?’” Kelty said. “Especially from a local perspective. What was going on here in the Illinois Valley? What were our thoughts?”