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Elementary school sure has changed

Those who attended Center Township Elementary School from 1967 to 1972 were expected to sit quietly and learn reading, writing and ‘rithmetic or be sent to Mr. Hughes’ office.

According to many uplifting articles in the Butler Eagle recently, the education available to today’s students is very, very different from the old model students back then endured, and we think it’s great.

In Friday’s Eagle, an article on the Community Agricultural Partnership at Summit program at Summit Elementary School in the Butler Area School District announced that the school had received the 2023 Partnership in Agricultural Literacy Award from the national Agriculture in the Classroom organization.

We had the privilege of touring the school with state and local dignitaries in April, when state Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding, visited Summit Elementary and several other locations in the county.

The agricultural and environmental program at Summit Elementary is jaw-dropping to an old-school students, as it stretches through the school’s hallways, into classrooms, and even outside, where a large greenhouse, outdoor classroom, gardens and other hands-on teaching tools educate students about growing food and protecting the environment.

Redding and Leslie Osche, county commissioners chairwoman, tasted cherry tomatoes from a plant in a hallway at Summit, which was a sight you’d never have seen in an elementary school of the ’60s and ’70s.

We also toured Ehrman Crest Elementary/Middle School in the Seneca Valley School District before it opened this school year. Mr. Hughes would be gobsmacked.

There are so many hands-on lessons at Ehrman Crest that do not require students to sit silently and attentively in their seats for six hours each day, that all learning styles are accommodated and all students have the opportunity to succeed.

We are sure there are many more innovative educational programs at schools in every Butler County school district, and our future will surely be better off for it.

The Butler Eagle congratulates those teachers, principals and school staff members who initiate, carry out or support lessons that augment the “three Rs” in classrooms throughout the county.

Those wiggly, squirming students of the past who visited Mr. Hughes’s office because they couldn’t sit still can be glad their active grandchildren are learning in programs that channel that energy.


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